President Maithripala Sirisena all out to foil predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa’s comeback bid … vows to adopt constitutional and legal measures to achieve that end
Posted on April 27th, 2016

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday declared that his goal was to thwart his immediate predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa’s bid to return to power.

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution was meant to scuttle his predecessor’s political project, the SLFP leader said.


President Sirisena was responding to a query by The Island at a media briefing at the President’s House. The President emphasised that he would achieve his objective through constitutional and legal means. Underscoring the pivotal importance of punishing those who had been found guilty of wrongdoings, the President said that he would take all possible constitutional and legal remedies to defeat corrupt as well as scheming elements.

The Independent Commissions established in accordance with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution would play a crucial role in ongoing efforts to create a righteous environment.

President Maithripala Sirisena launched a scathing attack on former Economic Development Minister and ex-SLFP National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa. Alleging that the former SLFP strongman had been distributing bundles of money among supporters to bring people to the Kirulapone May Day rally organised by ‘disruptive’ and ‘corrupt’ elements, the President said that he was in a quandary as to how those funds had been raised. The President castigated the former Economic Development Minister over his current role organising the May Day rally for the Joint Opposition.

Referring to the period leading to January 2015 presidential polls, the President said the then ruling clan had sidelined almost the entire Cabinet and parliamentary group by late 2013/early 2014. There had been regular meetings on Wednesday mornings at Temple Trees where crucial decisions were taken, the President claimed, alleging that the ruling clan deprived ministers of an opportunity to take part in the decision making process. According to the President, breakfast meetings were attended by five members of the ruling family.

The President alleged that in the run-up to the last presidential polls, the former Economic Development Minister had launched a special project at the expense of his ministerial colleagues. At the then minister’s behest, District Secretaries had organised district-level functions to coincide with the release of funds allocated to districts, he said. “The then ministers and other members of parliament weren’t given a role to play. Ministers weren’t given an opportunity to address meetings.”

Claiming that the vast majority of members had resented the then ruling clan’s strategy, President Sirisena said that senior ministers went to the extent of boycotting meetings organized by District Secretaries. The former Economic Development Minister used to address respective meetings for 45 minutes to one hour after District Secretaries at the expense of other elected representatives.

The President said some had conveniently forgotten the situation in the country prior to what he called the January 2015 revolution.

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution had been enacted exactly one year back, but the media had completely forgotten the enactment of the vital piece legislation, the President said, adding that he met members of the National Police Commission (NPC) and the Public Service Commission (PSC) on Tuesday to disucss ways and means of ensuring their smooth functioning.

Acknowledging that independent commissions experienced difficulties, the President revealed that his advice to their members were to take all problems and issues into consideration but to address at least a few selected issues which required their immediate attention.

The President said that members of independent commissions should be able to retire happy.

Responding to The Island query what would be his priorities during his first term in office, President Maithripala Sirisena said he would give precedence to taking constitutional and legal measures to thwart the return of the defeated the former ruling clan. The President indicated that blocking the previous ruler was his priority. The SLFP leader refrained from mentioning any other issue.


3 Responses to “President Maithripala Sirisena all out to foil predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa’s comeback bid … vows to adopt constitutional and legal measures to achieve that end”

  1. Christie Says:

    Sirisena puppet of the Indian Empire voted in by the Indian colonial parasites of the island.

  2. Dilrook Says:

    Breakfast meetings are interesting. Sirisena is once again being dishonest when he says only Rajapaksas were allowed into these breakfast meetings. We all know Sirisena was also in these meetings where he consumed hoppers with Mahinda in the morning and defected to the other side in the evening.

    I agree with President Sirisena on Basil. 19A prevents citizens of other countries from entering parliament and as Basil refuses to shed his US citizenship, he cannot enter parliament. As he is not a MP and not a SLFP member (the fourth time he was expelled from the SLFP), Sirisena cannot sack him for organising the event.

    However, nothing of this applies to Mahinda, Chamal, Namal or Sashindra. Over 400,000 people voted for Mahinda at the General Election and 5.8 million voted for him at the Presidential Election. Sirisena cannot violate the fundamental rights of 5.8 million voters (or 47% of voters). That amounts to extreme dictatorship. If they have done wrongdoings, punish them according to the law. There is no need to harass them. Absence of such legal action means, Sirisena is telling more lies.

    May Day this year is the beginning of the end of the Sirisena-UNP regime as the May Day of 1993 was the beginning of the end of the UNP terror rule. Large VAT increases coming into force from May 2 will obliterate Sirisena’s and UNP’s vote bases. As they now oppress the Opposition, the Karmic cycle will catch up with them sooner than they expect.

  3. ranjit Says:

    You can judged this guy from his speeches and press conferences. Very low pathatic guy not fit to be our President at all.MR was and is a giant of a leader among the Commonwealth nations around the world. He has the charisma, stamina and the will power to face any problem in the country not like this shameless guy who doesn’t know anything what’s happening around him unless from daily newspapers.I wish he hand over the party presidency to MR and stay put without opening his Hakara mouth. Shamelss creature.

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