Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who returned back to the country recently after countries failed to give him asylum, has now begun a secret PR campaign to clear his failed image within the masses, to persuade the villages that he was misguided in making crucial decisions by those close to him, the Daily Mirror learns.
Senior sources told Daily Mirror that a team put together by a media personality and business tycoon are now visiting the villages which Rajapaksa had visited under the ‘Gama Samaga Pilisandara’ programme when he was President, and these members were speaking to the people to clear the former president’s image. The residents of those villages were also being informed that Rajapaksa had been misled and those to blame were those close to him including his family members.
Opinion polls are also being conducted in these villages to gather the people’s feedback on Gotabaya Rajapaksa, to test the waters if there is any public trust remaining on the former president.
Social media accounts run by this team, which is similar to the Viyathmaga team are also monitoring the public sentiments to see if the failed President can have a possible re entry in politics in the future if required. However his re entry into politics at this moment of time has not been confirmed.
Rajapaksa has on the other hand also applied for permanent residency in the US but the process is expected to take a long period of time. However, even if granted this status, Rajapaksa is expected to continue staying in the country and may visit the US only to see his son and family.
Meanwhile sources said that Rajapaksa is regularly in touch with the Dullas camp but he has been rejected by a majority of senior SLPPers who have blamed him for the downfall of the party.
In fact party leaders say his accusations of being misguided was false and the former President was on several occasions informed not to impose the organic fertilizer policy. Former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, on several occasions had informed his brother that the organic fertilizer ban would politically destroy the party as well as cause severe impacts on the agriculture industry but the former President had maintained his decision and only months later apologized for it once the damage was deep.
Senior party leaders from the SLPP have confided to Mahinda Rajapaksa that Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s name should be dropped from the party altogether and the party should distance itself from him. Mahinda Rajapaksa had in return informed the party to work closely with the present President and assist him in ending the queues as the time was not right to think of re-building the party when the people were facing severe hardships.
Mahinda Rajapaksa had also informed the party that Gotabaya Rajapaksa had fled the country without consulting any of the party members and he should not have fled in such a manner.