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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2674

Mangala Samaraweera failed to substantiate his allegations against the Government – Basil Rajapakse

Colombo, 24 December, ( Basil Rajapakse,the National List Member of Parliament, told the "Asian Tribune" that Mangala Samaraweeera and Sripathy Sooriyaratchi – the two-man band of the breakaway SLFP (M) – failed to substantiate in Parliament their allegations about payments made to the LTTE during the last presidential elections.Basil Rajapakse being sworn in on 19 September as a Member of Parliament by Speaker W J M Lokubandara.Basil Rajapakse being sworn in on 19 September as a Member of Parliament by Speaker W J M Lokubandara.

He was elevated from being the Senior Advisor to his brother, President Mahinda Rajapakse, to a Member of Parliament and expected to be a Minister with cabinet rank soon. He is expected to play a pivotal role in Parliament in shoring up support for the Rajapakse government.

Rebutting the charges leveled against the government Basil Rajapakse said: “On that day the motion was presented in the Parliament, I was there. I was under the impression that Mangala Samaraweera and Siripathy Sooriyaratchi will come up with some hard evidences to support their allegations. Unfortunately it was a rhetorical, verbal tirade – playing to the gallery and nothing else. They were trying to make political capital out of nothing, but it fizzled out. And everything that was told in the parliament was what they were complaining about for the past few months after being sacked from their ministerial portfolios.”

When asked about whether Government is willing to negotiate with LTTE for a political settlement he said: “I must say according the Mahinda Chinthanaya which has clearly mentioned all along that we are for a negotiated settlement. We also want to have a peaceful Sri Lanka in which all three major communities live in peace and harmony without any barriers to prevent them from living in any part of Sri Lanka. I must insist that we will not bend our heads or cow down to any type of terrorism.

“We respect the rights of all the communities living in this country. They have the right to live anywhere they want in dignity without hindrances of any discrimination of caste, creed, race or religion. The Government under the leadership of Mahinda Rajapakse always welcomes the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to come forward to talks through the proper channel. The talks have to be held on a very transparent manner and details have to be made known to the public. Please understand that we will never hide anything from the people and also will never go against the will of the people of this country.”Basil in the EastBasil in the East

Tracing the background to his political career he said:

“I consider it as an honor to be nominated as a member of the parliament of Sri Lanka. This gives me a rare opportunity to serve the people of this country.

Rajapakse’s have been serving the country since March, 1936, when my father’s brother D.M. Rajapakse was first elected to the state council. He went from the prison in Welikande to Parliament, who started wearing the earthy brown shawl to represent kurakkan (finger millet) cultivated by the people of his area, whose cause he championed throughout his life. It is from his example that Rajapakse wears his characteristic shawl. Since that day onwards many members of our family entered the Parliament working for the country as a whole, from my father D.Rajapakse in 1947, then Lakshman Rajapakse, George Rajapakse, in 1970 my brother Mahinda Rajapakse, again in 1989 my another brother Chamal Rajapakse and in 1994 our niece Nirupama Rajapakse.

I will also follow their steps in serving the people of this country. Mahinda Rajapakse who serves the people of Hambantota district is now elected as the President by the people of the entire country; because the Rajapakses’ have not betrayed the trust and confidence the people of this country have placed on us.

It is a confidence placed in us for the last 71 years. It is a very arduous task to walk in the Rajapakse tradition. I will work hard to continue the confidence building that has been started by the Rajapakses.

By being the Member of Parliament under the leadership of President Rajapakshe it will be much easier to work for the satisfaction for all. I will work in parliament to strengthen the hands of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the House, especially the Chief Government Whip Jayeraj Fernandopulle. I will work to win the confidence and the trust of all our party leaders, group leaders who are in the Government side and also the opposition leader and the opposition party leaders and members in the Parliament.

In the Government there are 15 political parties and I will endeavor my best and continue to keep the spirit of coalition alive.

As I am nominated as the national list Member of Parliament, this gives me a rare opportunity to work for the entire country without being confined to a particular electoral district.

I am personally interested in working for the development of the North and East and also in the threatened villages which comes under 8 districts bordering the north and eastern provinces. I was involved in the Jathika Saviya – strengthening the nation. I was and I am still involved in arranging the supply of foods and humanitarian assistance for the people of the Jaffna Peninsula after the closure of the A-9 road.

In the East I am presently involved in resettlement of the thousands of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

In many places which were earlier under the control of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE), people were living in huts and when they fled their homes, many of those huts had been destroyed due to natural disasters such as storm and rain and also demolished in many instances by wild elephants.

Now they have no places to go. Therefore Government has decided build houses for them. Government would give those IDPs Rs. 250,000 to build their houses. Roads and other infrastructure developments are presently undertaken by the Government”, he said

- Asian Tribune

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