Foreign, domestic forces behind my defeat in 2015: Former Sri Lanka president Rajapaksa
The Modi government had been in power for less than a year when Rajapaksa lost the 2015 election. Rajapaksa had said the plan to bring opposition together might have been hatched long ago.
Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday said “much water has flown” under the bridge since “certain foreign powers” and “domestic forces” played a part in his electoral ouster in 2015. He underscored the importance New Delhi held for Colombo in a lecture he delivered here on India-Sri Lanka ties.
Later in the day, Rajapaksa met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Rajapaksa did not name any foreign power. He had earlier blamed India’s external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, for conspiring with Western agencies to rally the opposition under incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena against him.
Rajapaksa had said he did not believe Modi or his government played a role in his ouster. The Modi government had been in power for less than a year when Rajapaksa lost the 2015 election. Rajapaksa had said the plan to bring opposition together might have been hatched long ago.
“The manipulative dimensions of foreign powers and domestic forces played a part in the change. Then, much water has flown under the bridge,’’ he said. Rajapakasa, who had maintained close ties with China, had famously said that India is a relative while others are mere friends. He rejected the allegations that the war his government had fought against the LTTE targeted the minority Tamil community. “There have been propaganda and misrepresentation of facts. Let me make it very clear that the war my government had led was against terrorism. It was not aimed at targeting any community,’’ he said. “It was aimed at total eradication of terrorism. It was for making the country better, safe and prosperous for everyone.” Rajapaksa claimed the loss of human lives in the military conflict was exaggerated. “Had we not cared for the human lives, we could have finished the war much earlier. In that case, we could also have saved the lives of many of our soldiers.”
He thanked India for its moral support for the fight against terrorism that had spread beyond the shores of the island nation and claimed former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s life. In May 2009, Rajapaksa’s government brought an end to the three-decade-old civil war in Sri Lanka amid allegations of rights abuse. The LTTE fought to create an independent Tamil state called Tamil Eelam in the north and the east of Sri Lanka that led to the bloody civil war.
First Published: Sep 12, 2018 23:38:03