Former President Mahinda Rajapakse today said that he will ensure corruption is stopped and a transparent mechanism is introduced to ensure equal opportunity to all.Rajapaksa also said that the opposition United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) was not divided and that it would gain majority votes at the August 17 parliamentary elections in order to form a new government. A group of UPFA members defected from the party recently and joined the ruling United National Party to contest the elections under a coalition due to Rajapakse being handed over nominations to contest the polls from the opposition.The party is also facing a division with a group of Rajapakse loyalists urging President Maithripala Sirisena, who is also the chairman of the UPFA, to make the him the party’s prime ministerial candidate. “I was ready to retire. But thousands of people came to see me during the past few months, and this was their request. The people have changed my mind to serve the country I love,” he said. In a question and answer session on social media today, Rajapakse said that the reason he had made a re-entry to politics after being defeated at the January presidential polls was because he had been requested to do so by millions of people who had visited his home in the recent months. Rajapakse is contesting the August polls from the opposition UPFA from the Kurunegala district. (Colombo Gazette) Meanwhile Rajapakse further said that if the opposition wins the August parliamentary polls, they would take immediate measures to re-start the development process in the country, which he claims has been halted by the present government.“As you know there is a massive loss of jobs due to this very ignorant manner in which the new government is halting these new projects. The first thing would be to start development projects and move forward,” he wrote responding to questions.The former leader further said that if elected his government would bring a halt to corruption and wrongdoing even if his own party members were involved in such acts.
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson died of natural causes and “did not have a brain tumour”, her sister has said.Santa Montefiore posted a series of tweets thanking people for their support in recent days following the death of the socialite at the age of 45.But the author added that she wanted to “clarify” a few things and referenced a coroner’s report released on Wednesday into the death of the former It girl.She wrote: “I’ve been so touched by the warm response to Tara’s death. Thank you from the whole family. But I’d like to clarify a couple of points.”Today the coroner’s report states that Tara died of natural causes – a perforated ulcer. She did not have a brain tumour.” The former “It girl” and reality TV star was found dead in her west London flat last week.Her funeral is due to be held on February 27.In a statement her family have said: “We would like to thank the many people who have contacted us about Tara following her untimely death. It has been a source of great comfort to know how loved she was by so many people.”Tara died peacefully in her sleep due to a perforated ulcer and peritonitis.”Those that knew and were close to Tara knew that there was no retreat to a “dark place” as some have disappointingly sought to suggest. In the last few weeks Tara was happy, positive and making plans for when she recovered her health.”As usual she had been busy with the friends and family she loved, and who loved her in return. She was in communication with her family and others of whom she was fond over her final weekend and had spent a lot of her time recording music and playing the piano in her apartment – a sure sign that she was happy and feeling good.”Tara’s funeral will be on the February 27. This will be a private moment for family and close friends to grieve and we would ask that our privacy at this time is respected. We will miss Tara very much and will never forget the joy, love and humour she bought to our lives.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Show more 5/5 Lastly there will be a fuller statement from the PT family latertoday. Thank you again.— Santa Montefiore (@SantaMontefiore) February 15, 2017 4/5 Tara’s good friends & family know that she was inhigh spirits in her last days. She had plans, trips & had written a movingnew song.— Santa Montefiore (@SantaMontefiore) February 15, 2017 2/5 Today the Coroner’s report states that Tara died of naturalcauses – a perforated ulcer. She did not have a brain tumour. pic.twitter.com/ccU3Ua4SPY— Santa Montefiore (@SantaMontefiore) February 15, 2017 Last year, she revealed her fear of dying after being diagnosed with a non-malignant brain tumour.After finding out about the growth in her pituitary gland, she later spoke about also suffering with an auto-immune disease that caused tiredness, joint pain and acute anaemia.In what is believed to be one of her last interviews, she told about her quest to “make her family proud again”.Following the news of her sudden death, her close friends the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were among the first to pay tribute.Charles and Camilla said they were “deeply saddened and our thoughts are so much with the family”. A death notice on page 26 of the Daily Telegraph was published last week, stating: “Tara Clare died peacefully in her sleep”.The piece also added that a private funeral is to be held. Montefiore added that “contrary to some reports, Tara was not the goddaughter of HRH the Prince of Wales”.She wrote: “Tara’s good friends & family know that she was in high spirits in her last days. She had plans, trips & had written a moving new song.” 1/5 I’ve been so touched by the warm response to Tara’s death.Thank you from the whole family. But I’d like to clarify a couple of points. pic.twitter.com/4kYUyA55JL— Santa Montefiore (@SantaMontefiore) February 15, 2017 3/5 Contrary to some reports, Tara was not the goddaughter of HRH the Prince of Wales.— Santa Montefiore (@SantaMontefiore) February 15, 2017