Colombo: Former Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Sunday was named the presidential candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party for the election scheduled for later this year.

Gotabaya was named the presidential candidate by his elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, who took over the leadership of the SLPP hours before at the party's convention held here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Gotabaya said that he would never allow any foreign forces to infringe upon the sovereignty of his country, reported Colombo Page.

“I have a vision for the future of my country. I never bowed my head to anyone who opposed my country. I will never allow anyone to infringe upon the sovereignty of Sri Lanka.”

“Security is of foremost importance in a country. I assure you the safety of your children. I will not let extremism lift its head in the country. I pledge to create a safe and secure environment in which all Sri Lankans, irrespective of their religion will be able to live in peace,” he said.