‘Other world leaders did not arrive with bags of cash’ – Gota spokesman Rambukwella | Daily News


‘China looked at us differently’

‘Other world leaders did not arrive with bags of cash’ – Gota spokesman Rambukwella

Spokespersons for Presidential candidate Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told news media yesterday that they had hoped that other world leaders “will arrive with bags of cash” but they had not. “But China looked at us differently,” Rajapaksa spokesperson and Opposition MP Keheliya Rambukwella recalled.

Together with former Foreign Ministry Secretary Palitha Kohona and Parliamentarian Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Rambukwella was addressing a news conference at the Mandarina Hotel, Colombo, which they said would be a regular media briefing for the election campaign of candidate Rajapaksa.

Rambukwella said that former Defence Ministry Secretary Rajapaksa has refrained from mudslinging and has requested all party loyalists to do the same while ensuring that the use of plastics and paper is kept to a bare minimum.

“This election campaign will be different. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has already set an example and has requested all to comply,” he said. “This will be, by far, a decent and clean political campaign leading up to the elections in November.”

Although no backing data was presented to the media, Rambukwella claimed that when the current Government took over in 2015, Sri Lanka’s debt was estimated at Rs. 7 trillion and amounted to only 71.6 percent of the GDP. “We had plans to bring it down to 60 percent which is a fairly comfortable place to be at. But today the debt is estimated to be at 14 trillion and 94 percent of the GDP.” He further claimed that investors had lost confidence while projects which were initiated by the previous government had been halted. “We built the Norochchcolai and Kerawalapitiya power plants, yet during these four years, not a single megawatt of power has been added to the National Grid.”

Asked about the issue of Rajapaksa’s citizenship, Rambukwella said that the matter had already been clarified previously by announcements through the news media.

Former Foreign Ministry Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona claimed that the incumbent Government’s relations with China had become strained and that Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa intended to “restore” diplomatic ties and warmth between the two nations. He added that the manner in which the current Government halted and even disregarded Chinese funded projects demonstrated a lack of understanding of international relations.

“We felt that other world leaders will arrive with bags of cash but today we have endless leaders visiting and no money. China looked at us differently. Gotabaya Rajapaksa will set the record straight and restore the relations between the two countries.”

Parliamentarian Anura Priyadarshana Yapa told the media that national security, economy and youth aspirations will be the cornerstones of their candidate’s political campaign.

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