President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is seeking an unprecedented third term, vowed on Thursday as he appealed to minority Tamils to “forget the past”.
“See what has happened in Iran, Libya and Egypt. We can’t allow that type of situation in this country. We must unite. Forget the past and let us build this country together,” Rajapaksa said, addressing minority Tamils in a public rally in the former war zone of Mullaithivu.
In the rally, the President did not mention the crushing of the LTTE who fought their final battle in Mullaithivu where a large number of people are still searching for their missing family members.
“We cannot let history repeat in this country,” he said.
Sri Lanka will not allow any Arab Spring-type uprising in the country which is emerging from decades of ethnic war.
He emphasised on promoting economic activity in the region, saying the national budget will focus on increasing jobs for minority Tamils. Sri Lankan troops allegedly killed about 40,000 Tamil civilians in the final months of fighting, when the leadership of the Tamil Tiger separatists was wiped out in 2009.
Tamils who account for about 15 per cent of the country’s 15.5 million electorate can play a key role in deciding the next president. Rajapaksa is touring the north of the country drumming up support for his unprecedented bid for a third term in the January 8 elections.