After SLFP and UPFA refusing to support unity government , Ranil’s  Government  on the verge of collapsing.
Posted on February 16th, 2018

Sri Lanka News

With his party and alliance, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA), refusing to accept United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister in a coalition government, Ranil’s  Government  is on the verge of collapsing now.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena had intended to address editors of local media institutions on Friday to announce his decision on the fate of the government, But given mounting pressure from his party men not to continue the coalition with Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister, the President hurriedly cancelled the press conference in the middle of the previous night pending new political decision he has to make facing the situation.

PM to remain in his post

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says that he will remain his post as per the constitution.

As far as I am concerned I continue as Prime Minister .Under the law and constitution I see no reason as to why I shouldn’t” Wickremesinghe said while issuing a special statement today (16).

SLFP General Secretary Duminda minister together with some ministers opposes the UPFA government. මහ ලේකම් දුමින්ද සමග ශ‍්‍රීලනිප ඇමති පිරිසක් සන්ධාන ආන්ඩුවට විරුද්ද වේ…

ඒකාබද්ද විපක්‍ෂයද එක් කර ගනිමින් ඇති කිරීමට යන නව සන්දාන ආණ්ඩුවට ශ‍්‍රිලනිප මහ ලේකම් ඇමති දුමින්ද දිසානායක මහතා දැඩි විරෝදය පල කර ඇත.ඒ මහතා සමග තවත් සන්ධාන ඇමතිවරුන් 5-6 දෙනෙකු මෙම ස්ථාවරයේ සිටිතැයිද වාර්තා වේ.තමන් විරුද්ද වූ මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ මහතාගේ ප‍්‍රතිපත්ති අදටද වෙනස් වී නැති නිසා තමනට රෙදි ඇදගෙන ඔහු සමග එක්විය නොහැකි යයිද මහ ලේකම්වරයා කියා ඇත.කෙසේ වෙතත් තමන් එක්සත් ජාතික පක්‍ෂය සමග එක්වන්නේ නැතැයිද ඔහු වැඩි දුරටත් සදහන් කරයි.

SLFP General Secretary, Minister Duminda Dissanayake has protested against the new government that will bring together the combined opposition.

There are 5-6 more UPFA ministers with him in this stand.

The Secretary General has said that since Mahinda Rajapaksa’s policies that he himself opposed have not been changed  he will not be able join them.

However, he added that he does not want to join the UNP.

President to seek AG’s advice on removing PM -Welgama

President Maithripala Sirisena would consult the Attorney General and legal experts on moves to remove Prime Minister under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, Joint Opposition (JO) MP Kumara Welgama said.

Welgama made this statement while addressing media, after the discussion held with President Maithripala Sirisena at his official residence today (16).

We agreed to extend our support to the government only if they leave UNP .However, we refused to accept ministerial portfolios although the President requested us to do so” the MP added.

Party leaders from the Joint Opposition held a special discussion with President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s Official residence, earlier today.

Joint Opposition (JO) leaders said after meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena they will support a United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government.

Accordingly, a committee was appointed to discuss on the further political proceedings to form a UPFA government under the coordination of JO parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardena and UPFA Minister Susil Premajayantha.

මෛත‍්‍රී මහින්ද එක්වේ.. රනිල් ඉවත් කරයි.. අලූත් ආණ්ඩුවක්.. අලූත් අගමැති නිමල් සිරිපාල. Maithri, Mahinda, will be united .. Ranil will be removed .. A new government .. The new Prime Minister Nimal Siripala ..

President Maithripala Sirisena has informed the joint opposition that the UPFA government will replace Ranil Wickremesinghe’s and appoint a UPFA government led by Nimal Siripala de Silva.

This has been announced at a discussion between the President and the leaders of the Joint Opposition at the President’s official residence shortly ago.

Accordingly, a committee has been appointed to discuss the program of the new government while Minister Susil Premajayanth and Dinesh Gunawardena coordinate this committee.

However, the President was informed that the joint opposition will not accept any ministerial perks in the new government.

The President has informed the Joint Opposition that he will investigate the removal of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe from his post

JO ready to support UPFA govt.

Joint Opposition (JO) leaders said after meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena they will support a United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government.

Accordingly, approval has been given to appoint a commission to discuss on the further political proceedings of JO and UPFA, said parliamentarian Udaya Gammanpila when contacted by Ada Derana.

MP Dinesh Gunawardene representing the JO and Minister Susil Premajayantha representing UPFA has been appointed as the coordinators to the committee, it is reported.

However, the JO leaders have informed the President, despite their support to the UPFA government that they will not hold any ministerial portfolios including the post of Prime Minister under the government.

විජේදාස සමග එජාපයෙන් 10ක්.. බදියුදීන්ගේ 06ක්.. අලූත් ආණ්ඩුවට සූදානම් පිරිසේ නම් මෙන්න..

Wijeyadasa with 10 UNPers Six other MPs headed by Rishard Badurdeen are ready for the new government

It is also said that several UNP MPs have expressed their willingness to join the new government. Former minister Wijedasa Rajapakse, minister Daya Gamage, state minister Sujeewa Senasinghe, deputy minister Harsha de Silva, deputy minister Ajith P. Perera. Perera, Deputy Minister Anoma Gamage, State Minister Palitha Range Bandara, Parliamentarian Athuraliye Rathana Thero will join the UNP in this regard. Six other MPs headed by Rishard Badurdeen will join the new government.

පවතින යහපාලන ආණ්ඩුව අවසන් කර නව ආණ්ඩුවක් බිහිකිරීම සදහා වන සාකච්චා තීව‍්‍ර මට්ටමට පැමිණ තිබේ.

මේ සම්බන්දයෙන් වන ගිවිසුමක් ඒකාබද්ද විපක්‍ෂය හා ශ‍්‍රී ලංකා නිදහස් පක්‍ෂය අතර අත්සන් තැබෙනු ඇති බවටද මාධ්‍ය වාර්තා පලවෙයි.

එක්සත් ජාතික පක්‍ෂයේ මැති ඇමතිවරුන් පිරිසක් මේ වන විටත් නව ආණ්ඩුවට එක්වීමට කැමැත්ත පල කර ඇති බවද සදහන්ය.

හිටපු ඇමති විජේදාස රාජපක්‍ෂ, ඇමති දයා ගමගේ, රාජ්‍ය ඇමති සුජීව සේනසිංහ, නියෝජ්‍ය ඇමති හර්ෂද සිල්වා, නියෝජ්‍ය ඇමති අජිත් පී. පෙරේරා, නියෝජ්‍ය ඇමතිනී අනෝමා ගමගේ, රාජ්‍ය ඇමති පාලිත රංග බණ්ඩාර, පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත‍්‍රී අතුරලියේ රතන හිමි ආදී පිරිසක් මෙසේ එක්සත් ජාතික පක්‍ෂයෙන් එක්වනු ඇති බවත් ඊට අමතරව රිෂාඞ් බදුර්දීන්ගේ නායකත්වයෙන් යුතු මන්ත‍්‍රීන් හය දෙනෙකුද නව ආණ්ඩුව සදහා එක්වනු ඇති බවත් වාර්තා පල වෙයි.

කෙසේ වෙතත් ශ‍්‍රීලනිපයේ ඇමතිවරැන් හය දෙනෙකු පමණ නව ආණ්ඩුවට එක්වීම දැඩිව ප‍්‍රතික්‍ෂෙප කරමින් සිටින බවද වාර්තා වෙයි.

Susil meets MR

SLFP National Organiser Susil Premajayantha met former president Mahinda Rajapaksa at Mr. Rajapaksa’s official residence this morning.

It is reported that the meeting was held to get the support of the joint opposition to form a SLFP government.

Don’t be afraid, we have your back: JO assures SLFP

The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday told the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) not to be afraid when making a decision to form its own government and assured them that they were there to support them once they make that call.

MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said that the JO MPs had decided at a meeting held last morning to offer its unconditional support to the SLFP in the event it broke away from the unity government it had formed with the United National Party (UNP).

The meeting was held under the leadership of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at his residence in Wijerama Mawatha in Colombo 7.

We have been telling the SLFP from the beginning that we will support them if it exits from the government. At the meeting, we decided to support the SLFP to form a government without any condition. We would like to tell the SLFP not be afraid and that we will be right behind them,” he told Daily Mirror. (Lahiru Pothmulla)

Nimal Siripala for Premier; signatures of MPs obtained

A move to obtain sufficient signatures to prove that Transport Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva commands the majority support in Parliament and eligible to be appointed as the Prime Minister, has been commenced yesterday noon.

Cabinet illegal, Prez has power to appoint PM: Sarath

In another conundrum to the present gridlock in governance, former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva argued yesterday that the entire Cabinet including the Prime Minister stood illegal at the moment as the two year period stipulated for the national unity government had ceased.

The former Chief Justice told the Daily Mirror that the Cabinet should be restricted to 30 and the number of deputy and state ministers to 40 in terms of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

However, he said there was a separate constitutional provision to increase the number to 45 Cabinet Ministers in the event of a national government.

He said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe moved a resolution in Parliament for the establishment of a national government in conformity with an agreement signed between UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim and SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake.

As the entire two year period stipulated for the unity government lapsed in December, he said, the entire Cabinet had been rendered illegal at the moment.

Interestingly, the parties that were in the national government went before the people at the local government elections separately,” he said.

He said the President now had the power to appoint someone commanding parliamentary majority, in his opinion, as the Prime Minister.

Then, the Cabinet Ministers can be appointed on the Prime Minister’s advice,” he said. (Kelum Bandara)

 

14 Responses to “After SLFP and UPFA refusing to support unity government , Ranil’s  Government  on the verge of collapsing.”

  1. SA Kumar Says:

    After SLFP and UPFA refusing to support unity government , Ranil’s Government on the verge of collapsing.-only TNA can safe UNP Govt !!!!

    Lord Bhudda said ” life is circle”

    Now We-Tamil time . VP rest in peace now !!!

  2. ranjit Says:

    What ever tricks they play here and there on the political musical chairs the real power stays with the poor citizens in this country. They should not forget that. We opposed any connections either with Ranil the Joker or traitor Mr. Hopper but at this point because we love our Motherland dearly, we allow Mahinda Rajapaksa and his new party Pohottuwa to give little help to form a new govt. JO members even a single member shouldn’t take any positions in the new government. They should stay on course with the majority Sinhala buddhist population who overwhelmingly supported them in the LG polls. Sirisena still talk with vengeance towards Mahinda Rajapaksa. He is the darling of the west and the Indian parasites as well as Ranil and Chandrika therefore Mahinda Rajapaksa must be very careful when dealing with our enemies. I hope people will understand his position at this point and stay alert to act if these scoundrels play double game on him. We don’t want any other symbol except pohottuwa led by Mahinda Rajapaksa our great President.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    S A Kumar,

    More CORRECTLY you should PIOUSLY intone: “VP rest in PIECES now” as he has since May 18, 2018!

    GOOD RIDDANCE to BAD RUBBISH!

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    Ways & Means of EJECTING the UNHOLY PARA-GATHI AGA-MATHI who will NOT GO without a PUSH!

    Method 1: Eliminate the PM’s SEAT

    Manohara De Silva and Udaya Gammanpila separately stated that the Constitutio,n as Amended by the 19th Amendment, allows the President to dismiss the Prime Minister.

    The basis is as follows. The President is required to get the agreement of the PM to appoint the initial Cabinet of Ministers.

    But, the President is allowed without restriction to thereafter CHANGE the composition of the Cabinet including dismissing the ENTIRE Cabinet.

    The PM’s position depends on his having the support of his Cabinet, and it becomes null and void in the absence of a Cabinet.

    Therefore, if the President DISMISSES the Cabinet, the PM’s position becomes NULL & VOID and he AUTOMATICALLY REMOVED from the PM’s position. SIMPLE & PRETTY A’INT IT?

    Method 2: Eliminate the PM’s Parliamentary Majority

    Another basis for DISMISSING the PM is INABILITY TO PROVE that the PM has the required 113 MP’s majority support in Parliament. The PM has 106 UNP MPs, LESS (upto 15) of whom are willing to join a UPFA/SLFP-led Govt, PLUS an unknown number of UPFA/SLFP MPs who are willing to join the UNP.

    Finally, the UNP, given its HISTORIC lack of PATRIOTISM, might decide to MARRY the TNA with its 16 SEPARATISM PRONE MPs. There is a story going around that the TNA has been offered a Rs. 20 million BRIBE for its support, no doubt from the stolen Bond Scam money warming the UNP’s unofficial treasury. That particular strategy is LIKELY to SINK the UNP’s chances at future polls, especially because the TNA will push heavily for a Federalized Sri Lanka as part of their UNHOLY DEAL, to GET IT while the GETTING is GOOD & who cares about what happens to the UNP later!

    Method 3: Induce a REVOLT by the UNP MPs.

    There are MANY DISAFFECTED UNP MPs, and UNP PM’s-in-waiting, who believe the PARA-GATHI AGA-MATHI has outlived his usefullness not only as PM but also as Party Leader, whose own AMBITIONS are FRUSTRATED by the PRESENCE of this ARCH-CONNIVER who has fought-off all attempts to topple him in the past.

    I wonder where they got that idea; perhaps from the fact that Wikunanasinghe has lost 30 elections in a row, and the POLICIES he has espoused and embedded within the UNP guarantee that the UNP CANNOT WIN a Presidential Election on its own??

  5. Sirih Says:

    19th straight jacketed the president… Only option now is to get few nationalist UNP members ( if there is a such person or persons) to UPFA and form the govt.
    What ever happens country need UNP and ranil thrown out. President have a major opportunity to get back to good governance if he is serious about it with out sucking up to foreign interest.

  6. Christie Says:

    Ranil may have to go. India definitely does not want Ranil after he gave Hambantota to China.

  7. Ananda-USA Says:

    Christie is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!

    The Yamapalanaya in their HASTE to BLAME the previous Govt, Pay for their PROFLIGATE expenditures (eg. Rs 10,000/mth to all public servants), and to Finance their Large-Scale Thefts to fund their bankrupt Party, thre out the Baby with the Bath Water when dealing with ese: They sold off Sri Lanka’s National Assets for PEANUTS, they COMPROMISED Sri Lanka’s Sovereignty and Long-Term National Security, they permiited the Growth of a LARGE Chinese Community ROOTED in Sri Lanka in the future, and in the PROCESS COMPROMISED SECURITY of India as the MR Govt NEVER HAD.

    MR’s approach ALWAYS PRESERVED & PLACED Sri Lanka’s SOVEREIGN INTERESTS FIRST & FOREMOST. That is the FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE between DESHA-PREMIS and DESHAD-DROHIS!

    In fact, Subramaniam Swamy recently ADVOCATED the RETURN of MR to POWER in Sri Lanka, because that better SERVED India’s SECURITY Interests than a BUNCH of INCOMPETENT UNPATRIOTIC PINHEADS who put their Narrow Interest FIRST before Sri Lanka’s and in this case … India’s as WELL.

    Subramaniam Swamy merely VOICED the EMERGING GENERAL OPINION of the Indian Foreign Policy Establishment which has been observing the NAIVE Foreign Policy of the Yamapalanaya with DISMAY!

  8. Ananda-USA Says:

    China debt worries grow in Sri Lanka as ex-president regains clout
    Fri, Feb 16, 2018, 07:11 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Feb 16 (NAR) COLOMBO- Sri Lanka is poised to become even more indebted to Beijing with the return of pro-China ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa, after his newly formed Sri Lanka People’s Front won a landslide victory at Saturday’s local government elections.

    The victory for the party could see Sri Lanka flip back into the arms of China, Rajapaksa’s favorite lender and builder. The current government had leant toward India and Western powers but this dynamic could now be tested. Already, as a legacy of Rajapaksa’s government, Sri Lanka owes China $8 billion of its total $65 billion of debt, equivalent to over 70% of its gross domestic product.

    After suffering two back-to-back election defeats in 2015, the return of Rajapaksa’s party has not only dealt a humiliating defeat to the coalition government, but also unleashed political chaos. The Sri Lankan rupee fell to a record low this week due to the political uncertainty.

    Namal Rajapaksa, the ex-president’s eldest son and a parliamentarian, said if his father formed a government, Sri Lanka will continue to rely on China. But he was also quick to add that the government will not extend any preferential treatment to China specifically, and will also invite India, the U.S., the U.K. and Europe to invest in Sri Lanka.

    “My father has been close with China, and I believe he will continue this and I see no harm in it. However, it is also important that we have a non-aligned policy. But, we will continue to rely on China, and there is nothing wrong with that,” he told the Nikkei Asian Review.

    Although Rajapaksa has won majority of the local authorities convincingly, he has to rely on the central government to release funds for development in these same wards. Local governments cannot directly borrow from foreign lenders.

    As such, Rajapaksa has been pressuring President Maithripala Sirisena to dissolve parliament and hold a snap general election, in the hopes that he will win enough votes to establish a new government. But Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe reached an agreement on Tuesday to continue the coalition government for the next two years and to set up a committee to consider policy changes, including a possible corruption crackdown.

    Despite this tentative agreement, Namal Rajapaksa said that the internal bickering within the coalition did not bode well for its future. “There is no political stability within the central government. They are constantly arguing and both parties are having opposing policies. This is why we are calling on President Sirisena to dissolve parliament and go in for a snap election.”

    But dissolving parliament is not as easy as it used to be in Sri Lanka. In mid-2015, Wickremesinghe introduced a new legislation that gave sweeping powers to parliament and removed certain powers of the president including his ability to dissolve parliament at his discretion.

    The president can now only dissolve parliament if two-thirds of the members of the house agree to do so, or any time after the expiration of four-and-a-half years following the first parliamentary meeting.

    Sirisena does not have the support of two-thirds of the members in parliament to pass such a resolution. He has not made any official comment since losing the election, and had been expected to make a statement on Friday.

    However, late Thursday night Sirisena reversed his decision to make a statement, plunging the country into greater uncertainty. He also held a series of discussions on Friday morning with parliamentarians from Rajapaksa’s opposition group. They have expressed support for Sirisena’s move to form a government without Wickremesinghe’s UNP. He is also expected to consult the attorney general on the the possibility of removing Wickremesinghe as prime minister.

    Rajapaksa’s party won a total of 239 local government authorities, while the ruling coalition’s United National Party of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe won just 41, retaining control of Colombo itself. President Maithripala Sirisena’s party performed the worst, winning just 10 authorities.

    Muttukrishna Sarvananthan, a development economist and the principal researcher of the Point Pedro Institute of Development in Sri Lanka believes that China will gain, if Rajapaksa comes to power again because of his anti-Western attitude. “Rajapaksa will keep on depending on China for foreign investments to keep the economy running,” he said.

    During his decade-long rule, Rajapaksa relied on China to fund mega infrastructure projects in the country including his hometown, Hambantota, where he built a second international airport and a port, which have both become white elephants. The port was leased to China last year by the Wickremesinghe government for 99 years, and talks are underway with India to lease the airport, dubbed the world’s emptiest.

    But Rajapaksa’s win also means the coalition government is now desperate to regain its popularity. Shailesh Kumar,a director of New York-based consulting group Eurasia Group, warned in a Feb. 13 report that economic reforms will now take a back seat.

    “Opening the domestic freight-forwarding industry to foreign companies will be delayed, as will plans to privatize state-owned hotels. These decisions will adversely affect foreign direct investment at a time when Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange reserves could benefit from capital inflows,” Kumar wrote.

    Sarvananthan said the coalition will also now be forced to provide subsidies and other handouts to the people to win votes at the next presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for 2020, thereby increasing government debt.

    But voters see a brighter future. “The Wickremesinghe government hasn’t done anything, while Rajapaksa during his presidency brought lots of economic development in this country by bringing in Chinese money,” said Pradeep, a taxi driver in Galle, a southern city.

    Welson, an owner of a tea shop outside the Hambantota port, agreed: “Rajapaksa built this port and had further plans for building hotels here among others, while Wickremesinghe government cancelled those plans and just sold out the port to China.”

  9. Christie Says:

    We should never suck to India. It will be a long shot for China to colonize our country and I do not think Chinese really want to colonize any one else as it has a shortage of people.

    India is a different kettle of fish. It has more than half a billion young and they are colonizing places like Canada and Australia and New Zealand.

    India was always not sure what to do with Ranil.

    I know for a fact India did not want Ranil to be the president at any time.

    India always want a person who can be manipulated or is who is subservient to them.

    They made an error in 2005 by backing Mahinda.

    By the way who is behind the Colombo Page?

  10. Ananda-USA Says:

    Christie,

    Don’t know who runs Colombopage or Lankapage, but they always have a good cross-section of Sri Lankan news, reported without bias. So I use it.

  11. SA Kumar Says:

    “VP rest in PIECES or peace now” as he has since May 18, 2009- not sure but definitely now.
    all thanks goes to Rani maththaya !!!!

  12. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    One thing is sure. Traitor chief die hard catholic token Buddhist lajja nathi bijja nathi aga matta walking crime
    bomb with the timer set for 10-20 years Mega Thief Mega Thakkadiaya bay gal kaaraya Batalande Wadakaya
    pol pot [email protected] nil wickrama Sinhala killer is going nowhere. Why? Nobody is brave enough to remove the papa
    tharay who keeps destroying Sri Lanka, Sinhalese race and Buddhism and the west wants its poodle as the
    pathala man to destroy Sri Lanka, Sinhala race and Buddhism. Who is better than the portugues national to
    do the dirty work than the traitor chief?

    Batalande Commission found guilty. Traitor chaura rajina one eyed bandit kept quiet.
    Even MR didn’t trouble the Wadakaya.
    CB robbery with the catholic mafia. Everybody knows [email protected] nil is guilty except him. Punished? What punishment?
    Lajja nathi bijja nathi aga matta goes round keep saying I’ve been cleansed. That’s how pathetic this papatharaya
    is. Batalande Wadakay knows he is going to be impaled if it loses the pathala man PM job. So it wants to die
    on the job. Only thing which can remove this monstrous papa tharaya is the maaaraya. Just thinking about it
    MR might do it this time around since him and his family was troubled by the banku hora Wadakaya. But I bank
    on the maaraya and hope it will suffer immensely for all to see for the crimes it has committed/committing against
    the Sinhalese, Sri Lanka and Buddhism.

    P.S. to pathala man. The bank I mentioned in the last sentence isn’t a bank with any money at all.

  13. Ananda-USA Says:

    The SPIN by ECONOMYNEXT in the article below that SLFP/UPFA’s move to form a Govt has run into Constitutional Barriers is JUST THAT: A SPIN!

    As I had stated above, the 19A DOES ALLOW the whole Cabinet to be DIS<MISSED together with its first member the PRIME MINISTER.

    There is also another report the PM has rallied his dissenting troops. That IS toubling, because a SLFP/UPFA Govt will need as many as 11 defecting UNP MPs.

    EVEN MORE TROUB:LING, is a PERPLEXING TURNAROUND by the Mahanayake's of the Malwatta and Asgiriya Chapters at this CRITICAL time in their REPORTED but unverified release advocating the continuation of the Unity Govt! See my post of the article below.

    COME ON Hamuduruweni ….. WHERE is YOUR SPINE? STICK to your GUNS that you had FIRED EARLIER in DEFENCE of our Motherland!

    ………………………………….
    Sri Lanka President-backed putsch fails as PM rallies dissidents
    Sat, Feb 17, 2018, 09:27 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Feb 17 (ECONOMYNEXT) A last ditch attempt by President Maithripala Sirisena to oust Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has failed due to a constitutional hurdle and more significantly the lack of parliamentary support, sources close to both sides said.

    President Sirisena had agreed to continue working with Wickremesinghe, but had a sudden change of heart on Thursday after meeting with his United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) seniors.

    The two general secretaries of the parties, ministers Mahinda Amaraweera and Susil Premajayantha told reporters that neither of them could work under Wickremesinghe and insisted that they would not be in a cabinet with him.

    The duo raised Sirisena’s hopes of forming a SLFP/UPFA government with Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva as Prime Minister. Sirisena’s

    dream of being the leader of an unadulterated UPFA/SLFP cabinet was reinforced by his nemesis Mahinda Rajapaksa pledging conditional support.

    The charismatic former president controls at least 56 members of parliament out of the 96 elected under the UPFA ticket, but even together they do not have an absolute majority of 113 seats required to constitutionally topple Wickremesinghe.

    A senior official close to Sirisena said the president had been misguided by a senior lawyer who had advised him that he had the power to sack Wickremesinghe the same way he unceremoniously dismissed D. M. Jayaratne in January 2015.

    However, he was told that the President’s power to dismiss the Prime Minister was taken away by the 19th amendment to the constitution. Some have argued that the president could sack the entire cabinet and thus the PM too would lose his job, but there is no provision to under Articles 48 (as specified in the 19th amendment) to remove the cabinet in toto.

    Aides have argued that Sirisena could have pressed ahead ignoring constitutional provisions if he had an absolute majority as in the case of Mahinda Rajapaksa who used his executive power and the huge parliamentary majority to impeach chief justice Shirani Bandarayanake in 2013 using highly questionable means. In less than three weeks into office, Sirisena’s administration in January 2015 overturned the impeachment of Bandaranayake using equally controversial means, but thanks to a steamroll majority in the House.

    Realising both the legal impediments and the lack of a parliamentary majority, the once gung-ho UPFA ministers went silent over the weekend with their efforts at a constitutional putsch backfiring and raising questions about their tenure in the National Unity government.

    UPFA general secretary and minister Amaraweera had told the president in writing that no SLFP/UPFA member, himself included, could be in a cabinet with Wickremesinghe, a sentiment articulated over national television by Premajayantha.

    While President Sirisena cancelled his meeting with senior editors on Friday, Wickremesinghe hosted senior journalists to tea at Temple Trees after a no-holds-barred press conference where he categorically declared that he will remain but with changes in his party and the cabinet.

    In sharp contrast to the president’s camp, Wickremesinghe was careful not to criticize the president or his SLFP ministers. When asked how he could have Messers Premajayantha and Amaraweera in a future cabinet, Wickremesinghe said: “It is coalition politics. We have to get used to it. It was a little difficult for everyone at the beginning, but not anymore.”

    He said the president had told him that he was spending the weekend at his home constituency of Polonnaruwa and they would discuss the composition of the new cabinet in the coming week. He expected the process of finalizing a new cabinet of ministers to take over a week.

    Parliament meets on Tuesday for the first time after the February 10 local government elections and should the UPFA and the SLFP have sufficient numbers to oust Wickremesinghe they have no impediment to submiting a no-trust resolution against the premier.

    Despite UPFA attempts to push Nimal Siripala de Silva as a successor to Wickremesinghe, the somnolent transport minister made no public comments about accepting high office. Instead, he was attending temple ceremonies and offering poojas for good luck, a source close to him said.

    Dissent within

    Shortly after the local government election results showed that Wickremesinghe’s UNP had suffered a drubbing, the premier was under pressure from within the party to step down.

    However, the final results were not as bad as initially feared and Wickremesinghe was slowly able to rally support and keep disgruntled elements under check. A party senior said he also earned sympathy from the rank and file after a private media channel went out on a limb to personally attack him.

    “The media campaign against Ranil was an overkill and many people who saw the live coverage ended up feeling that he was unfairly targeted and began to rally behind him,” the source said.

    Wickremesinghe himself told reporters on Friday that he accepted responsibility for the electoral humiliation and was carrying out a restructuring of the party. He said the leadership was in “transition without disruption” and wanted younger members to take a leading role.

    He also admitted that the fallout from the bond scandal and his government’s failure to prosecute high profile members of the previous regime accused of corruption were key factors.

    He said he had taken on board the powerful warning from the electorate and was on a course correction to swiftly deliver on electoral promises made three years ago to bring to justice those responsible for killings and corruption.

  14. Ananda-USA Says:

    AIYO Hamuduruweni … dan KANAPITA GAHANNA EPA! Apey MAUBIMEY Sinhala Bauddhayan aaraksha karanna nagapu wedikawa athahara yanna EPO!

    Mokada obawahanselata WUNEY kapapita gahanna? CHIKAY … KATHAI!

    ……………………….
    Sri Lanka’s Chief Prelates call on leaders to continue unity government and fulfill promises made to people
    Sat, Feb 17, 2018, 09:11 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Feb 17, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s influential Mahanayake Theras (Chief Prelates) of the Malwathu and Asgiri Chapters have urged President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to promptly resolve the political crisis emerged after the local government elections without allowing the nation to be destabilized.

    The two Chief Prelates have pointed out that the government should work unitedly to take the country forward to fulfill the promises they made.

    The Mahanayake of Malwathu Chapter Most Venerable Thibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala Thera says that the Government has a responsibility to rule the country without creating confusions.

    In a letter to the President and the Prime Minister, the Chief Prelate said if the confusion resulted after the Local Government elections continued further, collapse of state administration and economic downturn are inevitable and all the parties should work unitedly to avoid such an outcome and to fulfill the promises they made to the people at the last elections.

    The Chief Prelate noted that with the outcome of the election results, the confusing, unstable, and uncertain situation emerging in the country is an obstruction to the people’s progress and well-being, as well as to unity, peace and harmony.

    The Mahanayake Thera also said that it is important to pay special attention to this situation and now it is necessary to act diligently to fulfill the promises given to the public in 2015 and at the general election. It is important to resolve the livelihood problems of the working class and the middle-class people, he emphasized.

    The Chief Prelate said the main emphasis should be on making national, religious, cultural and economic progress, as well as building peace and unity.

    Registrar of Asgiri Chapter Venerable Dr. Medagama Dhammananda Thera in a statement said that they hoped for the stability, betterment of people and security of the country.

    He requested all political party leaders and groups to refrain from acting in a manner that is detrimental to the country’s stability, the economy and the country’s security.

    The Venerable Thera noted that even though more than a week has elapsed since the conclusion of the Local Authority Election there has been no change in the current political environment. He hoped that the politicians will not abuse the mandate of the people by crossovers.

    He said that President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa should be responsible in handling the current situation of the country and they have the responsibility to maintain stability in the country.

    Venerable Dammanada Thera requested the political leaders to ensure the country’s security and work towards ensuring stability.

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