Rajapaksa said that genuine SLFP members were with him and insisted that he never created a rift in the party like some top SLFP members. (Colombo Gazette) The former President said this while speaking at an event held in Kandy with the participation of some Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) members. “But I respect all other religions and I respect all communities. That is something Buddhism taught me,” he said. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa insisted that he is not communal minded nor does he encourage hate against another religion.However he said he will never deny the fact that he is a Sinhalese or that he is a Buddhist.