Written by Tharushan Fernando
13 Aug, 2015 | 9:46 pm
President Maithripala Sirisena states that if the United People’s freedom alliance obtains the 113-seat mark to form a government following the August 17 general elections, the post of Prime Minister should be handed over to a senior member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party who has not yet been granted this opportunity.
The president had expressed this sentiment in a letter to former President Mahinda Rajapakasa. The Director of the presidential media unit confirmed that a letter was sent to the former president on Thursday.
President Maithripala Sirisena’s letter, addressed to Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa states that, in the event the UPFA does not obtain the required number of parliamentary seats, he as the executive president can intervene and form a government, while ensuring the stipulated number of seats are achieved.
President Sirisena states in the letter, that, under such a backdrop it is a senior of the SLFP who should be appointed as the Prime Minister and not Mahinda Rajapaksa. He adds that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party is the only party in the country that boasts of leaders who are intelligent, politically experienced and with much forethought, who could be appointed to the post of Prime Minister.
The President urged Mahinda Rajapaksa to show flexibility and humility and give his blessings to appoint a party senior to the post of Prime Minister in the calibre of Nimal Siripala de Silva, John Seneviratne, Chamal Rajapaksa, Athauda Senevirathne , A.H.M. Fowzie, Susil Premajayantha and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa.
President Sirisena requested Mahinda Rajapaksa not to make statements from the heart but to make statements using his intelligence – for the betterment of the country, without inciting communalism
The president reiterated not to create divisions within the party and act to ensure that the UPFA garners as many seats possible at the upcoming elections.
The President stated that he is writing the letter in the capacity of Chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party – seven months after , Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the January 8th presidential election and recollects that the SLFP-led Alliance had secured victory at four presidential elections and four general elections during the last two decades.
President Sirisena adds that both he and the former president had entered national politics through the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and that Rajapaksa was elected twice to the post of Executive President due to the trust placed by the people on the party.
The president noted that he contested as the common opposition candidate at the upcoming elections and gave leadership – in order to secure the post of President within the party ranks, at a time the public mandate against Rajapaksa was steadily increasing.
President Maithripala Sirisena states that his success to garner the support of all could be attributed to the genuine and untarnished relationship he had with the Sri Lanka freedom party and reiterates that SLFP activists did not have to go through harassment and difficulty similar to 1977 and 2001 after the January 8 polls this year, due to him being elected as the President.
President Sirisena further notes that he ensured the protection of party members and acted to suppress all violent activities following the polls and recollects the manner in which he assisted Mahinda Rajapaksa until 2005 during all decisive time periods. He says that he believes that there is no reason for Rajapaksa to forget the way in which he assisted him – to make Rajapaksa the prime minister in the year 2004.
President Sirisena also recollects how Wimal Weerawansa used his full strength to defeat this and the manner in which he stood by Rajapaksa during this time period and ensured that Rajapaksa was nominated as the presidential candidate of the party in 2005.
He reminded Rajapaksa the long-standing political friendship between the duo and the manner in which Basil Rajapaksa’s ulterior motives and actions had tarnished this relationship and how Basil Rajapaksa attempted to remove him from politics.
The president adds that Mahinda Rajapaksa was well aware of all these actions and add that this has bore testament the fact that life is indeed a “boomerang, to those who wish ill for others.” President Sirisena notes that he expected Rajapaksa to act with humility and protect his independence and adds that Mahinda Rajapaksa failed to do so until he was appointed as the common candidate of the opposition.
President Mairthirpala Sirisena adds that during the last seven months, when he met Mahinda Rajapaksa and even spoke to him over the phone, two days prior to the signing of nominations for the Kurunegala district, he had reiterated that Rajapaksa should not contest the polls due to the fact that he wanted to steer the party towards victory at the general elections.
However, President Sirisena states that his aspirations were shattered with Mahinda Rajapaksa signing nominations and states that he lost the opportunity he had to rally people who supported his victory and cause. President Sirisena notes that he did not intend to remove Rajapaksa from politics and wanted to bring in constitutional amendments to provide him with an honorary position and is cognisant that most members of the Rajapaksa family were in support of this move.
President Maithripala Sirisena note,s in his letter to Rajapaksa that, small groups are attempting to cling on to the voter-base of Rajapaksa to secure a parliamentary seat and adds that a full-stop will be put to the actions of such groups who does not have a political standing and believe that they can decide the SLFP’s future course.
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