News

People voted for my policies, not my appearance: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

  • Prez says he can be a military ruler but he doesn’t want to be

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said that people voted for him for his policies and not for his appearance, and that many expected him to be a military ruler which he does not want to be.

“6.9 million people voted for me based on the policies I put forward in the Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour policy statement, not for my appearance,” he said, addressing a function held at the Mandaduwa Public Stadium last Saturday (6) to vest with the public 1,500 completed roads on the same day.

“Many people expected me to be a military ruler. I can be like that. I can be like that and grab people by the scrub of their necks like an army officer, but I am not like that and I don’t want to rule the country like that. Some people said that democracy will die if I come to power, but I don’t like to use force like that,” added the President.

He said that there are two groups which criticise him.

“The first group does not know what happened in the past two years. They think that these last two years were ordinary. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic was not a major challenge only for me, but also for all the world leaders.The second group asked me for a revolutionary change. The majority of people hate change. These are the ones condemning,” he said.

He added that under the “Good Governance” Government, the former President and Prime Minister used to travel with a large entourage. President Rajapaksa said that he wanted to be the change in the country.

“When I attended the United Nations (UN) conference, I stayed at a regular hotel. My wife joined me and I paid for her air ticket and her hotel stay. Only seven people travelled with me. Some tell me that previous Presidents stayed at luxury hotels. I did not do that. We need to make a change,” said the President.