Did MR Just Call the North and East voters “Eelam” ?

Throughout the Presidential Election, my Newsfeed’s been inundated with people praising the former President of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Mahinda Rajapakse, for stepping down peacefully after a decade in power. Many were expecting a bloodbath. Despite reported last-minute attempts by H.E to use the military to suppress the voters, that didn’t happen (thanks to a few strong civil servants who had their heads screwed on right) and Sri Lanka was spared a wave of violence that would have torn the country apart. And for this, we called Mahinda Rajapakse a gentleman and sang his praises.

However, today my Newsfeed is full of something else: a damning clip of Mahinda Rajapakse speaking to a crowd. In this video, which was recorded off a mobile phone, the audience questions him as to why he did not kill <Maithripala, I presume> and seize power. Replying to this, he goes on to rant and brand the voters in the North and the East as “Eelam” – a taboo word in Sri Lanka, a word that inspired three decades of civil war, re-branding much of Sri Lanka as the terrorists he successfully suppressed. He categorically states that the country’s new government will not be stable without him, mocks the proposed Parliamentary changes, and vows that he will not leave.

See for yourself.

The video in question first appeared on Facebook approximately nine hours ago, uploaded off a private user profile. In the name of privacy I’ve located what seems to be a fresh upload of this to YouTube. I cannot verify the time or location of this video. 

Just to clarify the social ramifications of this: the term “Eelam” – the name and the values it’s associated with – bears the weight of 30 years of death for men, women and children, and many, many sacrifices by the Armed Forces; a history of suicide bombings, assassinations, orphans, body parts strewn over streets. To the best of my knowledge the very mention of the word is banned. Here is the former President of Sri Lanka, who, after much struggle and conquest, liberated the North and the East from the clutches of Eelam, branding this half-integrated part of the island with the fresh flame of terrorism and rousing those that listen against them. It cuts both ways. Even those who voted for MR are now disgusted by what they see as this cheapest of tricks – nobody wants that war again.

But there are always people stupid enough to listen, and in listening, to act.

3 thoughts on “Did MR Just Call the North and East voters “Eelam” ?

  1. How interesting.

    He claimed to have unified the country. It is clear that what he did was conquer territory. He seems to view the people he conquered as aliens, who are not citizens who had no right to vote against him.

    This has beeen the long running charge aginst him-that there was no real reconciliation or unification in any sense other than the territorial sense. The roads build help unify the territory, they did little to unify the people.

    The video clip is a telling indictment.

  2. When I heard people praising MR for stepping down peacefully I was shocked at the mentality of these people.He lost the election, by law he is supposed to step down, that isn’t an action that deserves praise. I think as nation our mentality is broken, the fact that people are willing to accept MRs corruption , stating that everybody steals is beyond stupid. I say it’s time we say no to career politicians!! The politician should serve his time and then leave, not build regime in his electorate.

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