Gotabaya launches campaign in Anuradhapura
Gotabaya Rajapaksa launched his Presidential campaign today promising to “pardon and free” the hundreds of ex-servicemen who have been “jailed by this government on cooked up charges, a day after I am elected.”
In this his first public rally at Anuradhapura he aimed his speech at rural agricultural populations in general and the North Central Province in particular.
Reading off a Tele-Prompter, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna candidate promised them a “fair” price for their produce without stretching to promises made by other leaders who spoke before him who said that a day after the 17th of November, they would receive a higher guaranteed price for paddy.
He said that farmers could not get fair prices because of post-harvest storage issues and pledged to deal with them
To the people of the region, he said he recognized that Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Origin (CKDu) was a scourge. He said the problem can be traced back to the fact that all the “sources of water are contaminated by harmful chemicals,” and promised relief by providing clean drinking water for all.
Addressing the Human-Elephant conflict in the region he said that “scientific solutions” proposed by experts in the field would be implemented. He said that while Elephant fencing will be built he would also ensure Elephant corridors are maintained.
He, however, attacked those who had called him a “Military-man” saying that it was this man who had helped free the country from terror. He pointed out to the people of Anuradhapura that they could not go further than 25 miles from he was standing during the war and now they could.
He said that the country was safe as long as the Rajapaksas were in power “but now we can’t even go to church without being bombed.”
He addressed the issue of young people who had failed to enter university and said a “massive amount of money” would be spent on Technical Education for them.
Rajapaksa also thanked the Sri Lanka Freedom Party for supporting him and reminded the audience that he SLFP “has never been against the Rajapaksas.”
Finally, he promised to create a “prosperous, safe and disciplined society.”