Rajapaksa fears undoing of his work in ending LTTE's campaign
Sri Lanka's former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday accused Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) of working to undo his legacy by working hand in glove with the main Tamil minority party TNA.
Colombo: Sri Lanka's former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday accused Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) of working to undo his legacy by working hand in glove with the main Tamil minority party TNA.
"I do not know what agreements have been worked out between the two parties. I fear if the country would see separation as a result," he told an election rally here.
The former president is running for a seat in the parliament in the election scheduled for August 17.
Rajapaksa is making an attempt to retain his support base in the majority Sinhala community who favoured him for his military campaign which ended the LTTE's over three-decade-old separatist war in 2009.
"I unified the country," Rajapaksa said referring to his military campaign which crushed the LTTE.
The Tamil separatist group was running a parallel administration in the north and east of the island which they said were areas of historic Tamil habitat.
Rajapaksa also targeted the TNA manifesto in which the Tamil party sought a mandate from Tamils to a federal form of solution based on Tamil right for self determination.
He riled the UNP's theme of its election manifesto, "A new country in 60 months".
"It will be a new country indeed without the north and east," Rajapaksa quipped.
Rajapaksa, who was ousted as president in the presidential election held in January, had taken the unprecedented step to run for parliament.
None of his predecessors entered parliament after spending their presidential terms.
Ethnic Tamils constitute about 15 per cent of Lanka's population, but could emerge as the kingmakers if the majority Sinhalese community is split between the two major parties.
Ethnic Tamils have historically favoured adequate devolution of power to the north and east regions which were ravaged by three-decades of bloody armed conflict.
Rajapaksa, 69, who was unexpectedly defeated by his own deputy Maithripala Sirisena in snap presidential polls, has resisted all Tamil demands for autonomy.
Sirisena dissolved Parliament last month and called fresh elections for the 225-member body on August 17 after the coalition he cobbled together with Wickremesinghe struggled to pass promised reforms in the parliament, where it lacked a majority.