Namal Rajapaksa, the son of former President Mhinda Rajapaksa, rejects charges that his family’s dynastic rule led to their rout and says the close knit ties between his father and his uncle, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, was responsible for Sri Lanka’s military victory over the LTTE. Namal with his parents: is it a crime that I became the President’s son?”
“The war was ended because of this bond within the family,” Namal said in a rare interview to NDTV, at the office of his law firm in Colombo.
“Any leader needs someone they can trust as secretary of defence. My father was able to take strong decisions as an individual along with the leaders of the government but the leader needs someone they can trust,” he added.
When asked whether this was a feudal argument in a modern democracy, where an elected leader needs to trust their colleagues regardless of family affiliations, Namal said, “We always trusted each other, but can I ask you is it a crime that I became the President’s son?”
Namal, now 28, was inducted into his Sri Lanka Freedom Party or SLFP by his father and won his first election on 2010 from Hambantota district.
The new government has filed a criminal case, alleging that in the early hours of January 9, when it became clear Mr Rajapaksa was losing the election, he called a secret meeting at his residence attended by top officials to plot the declaration of Emergency in Sri Lanka.
Namal denied any such meeting, but acknowledged that officials may have come to see him. “Various people came to speak to him right throughout the night. It’s normal at the end of the election, the government officials always come and talk.”