*One minute silence for slain UPFA supporter
*We will defeat any conspiracy
*Govt will protect unitary status of country
While condemning the killing of an UPFA supporter in Madurankuliya by a group of gunmen on Saturday, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said he will not allow thuggery to take root in the country under any circumstances. The President was addressing over 100,000 people who flocked to the Maligapitiya grounds in Kurunegala in support of his victory at the upcoming election.
President Rajapaksa along with the Ministers observed one minute s silence as a mark of respect to the UPFA supporter who was shot dead by an armed group, before he commenced his address.
We should not give any room to the person who thinks that he can get political mileage by killing innocent people, he said.
We will put a full stop to thuggery and conspiracy to divide the country by remerging the North and the East on January 26, he stressed. He added that the people of this nation gave him power at the eleventh hour to save the country which was under the threat of LTTE terrorists and their followers in the South.
The President reiterated that part of the country was handed over to the terrorists by an agreement and by the time he came into power and the terrorists have set up their own administration for a separate State.
The President stressed the Government pioneered liberating the country from the clutches of terrorism to ensure a better-country for posterity.
He said several traders were engaged in a futile attempt to create an artificial rice shortage in the country by hiding their stocks. The President reminded that this type of consipiracy was in place during 1977 and all hidden stocks came out after the 1977 General election.
He said that the people are ready to teach a lesson to these bogus traders and the conspirators who are involved in betraying the country on January 26. The President said that he is familiar with the life in the rural village as he hailed from one of the most under developed villages in the South.
Certain elements have said on election platforms that I will be sent to a cottage in a rural village after the election. He said these elements of the pampered class have neither seen a cottage nor experienced the life in rural villages in the country , he said.
He added that he did not sell any property belonging to the State during his entire tenure as the President. He said the Government has brought several State ventures which were privatized by previous administrations under its control during the past four years.
President Rajapaksa said some weak leaders in the country did not identify LTTE members as terrorists in fear of their lives at that time.
He stressed that more than 30,000 service personnel sacrificed their lives to safeguard the unitary state of the country and the Government is bound to protect and promote the unitary state of the country.
He said that the Government has clearly outlined in the Mahinda Chinthanaya that the Government is committed to protect and promote the unitary status of the country.
Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion and Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Rural Industries Minister S.B. Navinna, Nation Building Minister and Hiriyala SLFP Organizer Salinda Dissanayake and NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa also spoke.