Gota 2020 gets MR’s blessing?
Reports surfaced this weekend that former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had finally submitted an application to the US Embassy in Colombo to revoke his US citizenship earlier this month, making his entry into the 2019 presidential race almost certain, if he can renounce his dual citizenship status in time.
The application was reportedly handed over on March 6.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s formal application to revoke his American citizenship comes amid reports that former President Mahinda Rajapksa has endorsed his younger sibling’s presidential aspirations following a family conclave at his Wijerama Mawatha residence last Thursday (14).
Although his presidential campaign kicked off several months ago with the launch of the ‘Viyathmaga’ platform there was uncertainty regarding his candidacy due to the dual citizenship held by the him until this week where information had surfaced that he had submitted documents to relinquish the citizenship earlier this month.
However, when contacted by the Sunday Observer, he refused to comment saying that his “views will be distorted”.
Meanwhile, UPFA Parliamentarian Kumara Welgama told the Sunday Observer that he was not aware of a final decision taken by Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa to field Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the next Presidential candidate.
“My preference is to have a leader where people can sleep at night without fear and uncertainty. I believe in a leader who can protect the democracy of the nation and who allows the public to criticise the Government and it’s leaders because the media and the public has a right to criticise the Government. I don’t like to see that right being taken away. I don’t want to mention anyone’s name. But I expect a leader like that”.
“Every government killed people to be in power. I personally don’t like such things,” said Welgama, who has strongly opposed the prospect of the former Defence Secretary becoming the SLPP presidential hopeful.
Parliamentarian and DLF Leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara commenting on the candidacy said a final decision had to be taken by the Alliance.
“But unofficially we have learnt that, Gotabaya’s name has been adopted by the most important persons concerned so far, the family. But that alone is
insufficient. It won’t be easily adopted by the Alliance. Now that the
matter has been determined by the members of the family the matter now will have to come before party leaders in the Alliance. The Alliance will officially look in to the matter and come to its own decision which is likely to be the same,” Nanayakkara said.
The DLF Leader formerly strongly backed Chamal Rajapaksa as the SLPP presidential candidate. “We have not yet received confirmation about this from former President Rajapaksa,” Nanayakkara said adding that they would be meeting him tomorrow (18). Any concerns will be overcome when it is learnt that Mahinda Rajapaksa has made his decision, Nanayakkara said. There was uncertainty regarding the candidate. I believe this decision will bring stability and unanimity among the partners of the Alliance.
“Now the SLFP has no choice other than coming in to a common alliance with us,” he claimed.