Mahinda quits at 11th hour


Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned from the post of Prime Minister yesterday (9) after his supporters went on a rampage injuring dozens of peaceful anti-Government protesters.

Prior to the violent clashes, Rajapaksa said the motherland comes first, second, and third, and that he is willing to make any sacrifice for the sake of the country.

He was speaking to his supporters gathered opposite Temple Trees urging him not to resign from the post of Prime Minister.

Speaking at the Temple Trees gathering, he claimed that some politicians, as well as the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), propose a civil society all-party Government, and that they can see how the resolution is being put forward by all parties to take on the challenges that the country will face in the future.

“However, keep in mind that no one has the authority to betray the aspirations of the mandate of people in our camp. I was defeated in 2015, and it was your trust in me that brought me back into politics after I left politics and stayed home. You are the one who drove me here from Medamulana. The people had hope back then. That camp and its inhabitants made a significant sacrifice for us. I now ask you, as a leader who has always listened to the people, what we are doing now,” he said.

 “As a result, this May is the month in which we gave the people our victory for the future of this country. I would like to state that we are prepared to make the same decision with you today as well as tomorrow. I have always said that the motherland is first, second, and third. As a result, our sole goal is to alleviate the people’s economic hardships as soon as possible. I hope you will stick by us,” he said.

He went on to say that as a politician, he is aware of people’s suffering. As a result, he said, demonstrations, agitations, and hartals were not new to him then or now.

“However, keep in mind that when a country is in an economic crisis, it is critical that we work for the betterment of the people rather than for narrow political ends. We must not forget that some are hiding behind these people’s problems, decaying the country based on popular impulses and paving the way for anarchy,” he said.

However, Rajapaksa announced his resignation after the violence escalated when his supporters attacked anti-government protest sites ‘MynaGoGama’ in front of Temple Trees and ‘GotaGoGama’ at Galle Face Green in Colombo.

By Thameenah Razeek