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This is the end of govt - MR

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, addressing the Joint Opposition’s May Day rally at the Galle Face Green, said the mammoth gathering signified that the end of the government had come.

"This massive gathering will pave the way for a new government," an elated former President told tens of thousands of people who had converged at the Galle Green, encompassing about 18 acres.

After elaborating on some of the development programmes initiated by his government, Rajapaksa tore into the present administration for bringing the country’s development to a halt.

"Talking about a false ‘Rajapaksa debt trap’ they have stopped all the development work."

Members of the Joint Opposition, leaders of parties of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance and various worker organisations addressed the rally.

Pointing to the nearby Port City, Rajapaksa said during his rule foreign investors were falling over themselves to come here. He cited as examples the star-class hotels coming up near the Galle Face Green and the Lotus Tower.

"Nobody is investing here at present. The government is trying to pin the blame on me."

Referring to Wimal Weerawansa, who had spoken before him, former President said the present government was carrying out a political witch hunt the victims had been Opposition politicians like Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila and Namal Rajapaksa. He said the JO had promised to hold the biggest ever May Day rally in the country.

"We took up that challenge and succeeded. Now I ask them to hold the local government elections soon if they dare."

Rajapaksa said he and the Joint Opposition would never allow the proposed Constitution aimed at dividing the country to be promulgated. If the government tried to do so people would take to the streets, he warned. Neither would the JO allow the country’s assets to be sold to foreigners.

He said the late Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike had regained the control of the Trincomalee harbour by abrogating an agreement. "Was it to hand over that harbour to foreign powers again that the SLFPer voted for this government?"

According to new laws the government was introducing, even he would be held responsible, as the wartime President, for alleged accountability issues, Rajapaksa said.
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