Basil wanted to become President; Weerawansa reveals in first briefing as Ex-Minister

Basil wanted to become President; Weerawansa reveals in first briefing as Ex-Minister

Written by Zulfick Farzan

04 Mar, 2022 | 1:31 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); Former Sri Lankan Minister Wimal Weerawansa on Friday (4) revealed that Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa wanted to become President even before Gotabaya Rajapaksa was nominated as the candidate for the President of the country.

“Basil Rajapaksa wanted to use the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna as his personal property to realize his intentions of becoming president,” Weerawansa told reporters in Colombo, in his first-ever briefing after he and Udaya Gammanpila were stripped of their ministerial portfolios on Thursday (3) evening.

He said that as the group that created the call for Mahinda Rajapaksa’s return, it was opined that Gotabaya Rajapaksa was most suitable to be the candidate if Mahinda Rajapaksa did not wish to contest.

“We worked on that premise and that itself posed challenges to Basil Rajapaksa’s dreams of becoming President,” revealed Weerawansa, adding that Basil Rajapaksa eventually had to accept in a disgruntled manner that Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the Presidential Candidate.

Wimal Weerawansa also said that after Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated on the 8th of January 2015, Basil Rajapaksa had met with then-President Rajapaksa and requested for the post of Opposition Leader.

“However, Mahinda Rajapaksa did not want to do that. Thereafter, Basil Rajapaksa left the country without even telling his brother,” said Weerawansa, adding that his own party (NFF) along with others in the government had no intention of making such an individual as their Presidential Candidate.

According to Weerawansa, this internal conflict was in existence even before the Presidential Election, and further worsened when the 20th Amendment was brought in to allow a Dual-Citizen to hold positions in government and worsened on the East Container Terminal and the Yugadanavi Power Plant agreement.

“This is not a personal issue, but a conflict on policies,” he said while slamming Basil Rajapaksa for not taking the country’s worsening conditions seriously, as the Finance Minister.

Wimal Weerawansa also said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is being controlled by Basil Rajapaksa.

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