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Mixed reactions on Twitter to President’s speech

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa addressing the nation on television on Tuesday March 17, 2020

The immediate reaction to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s address to the nation last Tuesday night is mixed at best with many on social media calling it more of an “election speech” rather than a rallying call to the nation faced with a rapidly spreading coronavirus.
Former Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Member of Parliament Bimal Ratnayake expressed his disappointment.
“With all respect to d mandate, how poor was our president’s speech in a crisis situation. No appreciation of Health, Transport, Security workers who risk their lives. No clear guidelines for citizens, Institutions. No motivation. No spirit. Only Dhal,Saman(Sic) SLPP Election campaign!” he tweeted.

Others felt that the announcement of price reduction in Dhal and Canned fish was out of place in an address to the nation of this nature.
Others appreciated it. One post said giving the people two types of food which is easily stockable at a reasonable rate is great!
The President’s nephew and former MP Namal Rajapaksa appreciated the fact that Small and Medium scale Enterprises will have a moratorium on their loans.

Academic Dr. Asanga Welikala took a tongue-in-cheek dig at the President’s supporters.
“What? First he couldn’t stop a cricket match, now he can’t delay an election. I’m sure those who voted for him are feeling thoroughly cheated by this presidential behaviour, especially those who really want a military dictator,” he tweeted.

The President’s supporters thought otherwise, saying Sri Lanka had done better than other nations with greater resources.





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