Colombo, Oct 14 (IANS): Sri Lankan presidential candidate and former Defence Minister, Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that he was committed to make his country a secure, prosperous nation where all communities could co-exist in harmony.
Addressing a mammoth election rally in Mahara yesterday, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) candidate stressed on the need for a departure from the present political culture in the greater interest of society, reports the Daily Mirror newspaper.
He said there should be a positive political culture in the country.
“We cannot behave aggressively. I don’t approve of indecent, aggressive behaviour. There are a number of parties that have teamed up with us because of our policies. Today, the Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) led by MP Arumugam Thondaman has decided to support us. We are armed with a people-friendly vision,” he said.
Rajapaksa said the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) had been a source of strength for him, enabling to increase the vote base from 60 per cent to 72 per cent.
“We warmly welcome the SLFP into our fold. The SLFP is the party founded by S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and D.A. Rajapaksa. It is the party that led the 1956 revolution. That is the party that introduced a host of people friendly measures which we enjoy today. Mahinda Rajapaksa became the President of this country twice representing the SLFP,” he said.
Asserting that national security would be prioritized if he was elected as the new President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa said a Cabinet driven by neo-liberal thinking and acting according to the whims of the NGOs would never be able to strengthen or uphold national security.
The former Defence Minister, who called the 21st century the knowledge driven, said he had planned his knowledge-based economic policy.
“We always believe in the development of human resources. We will introduce an IT-driven economy,” he added.
On October 9, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is also the brother of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, formally launched his campaign for the island nation’s upcoming presidential election on November 16.
A record number of 35 candidates have so far filed their nominations for the polls, where Gotabaya is considered a favourite.