The lack of recognition for Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa at electoral events of Gotabaya Rajapaksa has reportedly left his wife Shiranthi Rajapaksa and his sons including Namal Rajapaksa disgruntled according to Rajapaksa family sources.
Though Gotabaya was named as the Presidential candidate while stressing that Mahinda would be the Prime Ministerial candidate, however in the events leading up to the announcement of the Presidential election makes no mention of the fact which has upset the family.
While the initial propaganda plan had included promoting both the Rajapaksa brothers equally with Gotabaya as the Presidential candidate and Mahinda as the Prime Ministerial candidate, sources say the ‘Viyathmaga’ organisers consisting of retired military officers had not given prominence for Mahinda Rajapaksa in the cutouts and posters put up across the island to promote Gotabaya.
Accordingly, Namal Rajapaksa had ordered the removal of cutouts and posters which had featured Gotabaya prominently and only displayed Mahinda’s image in an insignificant manner
An Outdated Mahinda
A weekend newspaper’s political analysis had this to say about the propaganda campaign.
“So now is the time for Mahinda's dominance to shift to Gotabaya. Gotabaya's propaganda posters show that Mahinda Rajapaksa's image is getting smaller and Gotabaya's image is getting bigger and this is the future political fate. The art of expiring Mahinda Rajapaksa.”
In the meantime, the Rajapaksa family is also reportedly upset about the lack of concern for Mahinda Rajapaksa by other political leaders supporting the SLPP during events even though they have expressed high praise for Gotabaya in their speeches.
At the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya Special Convention on September 1 at the Buddhadasa Stadium in Pelawatta, its Leader Attorney Udaya Gammanpila justified the move to make Gotabaya the Presidential Candidate in this manner.
“We have chosen Gotabaya Rajapaksa as our candidate. If the problem is national security, then Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the answer. If the problem is discipline, the answer is Gotabaya Rajapaksa. If the problem is pollution, the answer is Gotabaya Rajapaksa. If the country is stagnant without creativity, the answer is Gotabaya Rajapaksa. If the country is heading towards anarchy, the answer is Gotabaya Rajapaksa."
“We can bravely say that a President created with the qualities of Lee Kwan Yu, Mahathir Mohamed, Fidel Castro, Vladimir Putin, Jawaharlal Nehru will be created through the appointment of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.