Millennium Post

There was a plan to deny Lanka presidency: Sirisena

There was a plan to deny Lanka presidency: Sirisena
“You are aware of a plan by (former President Mahinda) Rajapaksa to stay in power for two more years by not declaring the result,” Sirisena said on Sunday while addressing his home constituency of Polonnaruwa in the north central province.

This was his first comment on the issue and it came days after Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera filed a police complaint over the alleged coup attempt by Rajapaksa and his close aides following his shocking defeat in the polls. The new government has launched an investigation into an alleged coup. Several top rankers including the former External Affairs Minister GL Peiris and Chief Justice Mohan Peiris have already been quizzed on the alleged plot.

Rajapaksa has dismissed the charge, saying he walked out of his official residence even before the final results came to be announced heralding a smooth transition.

Sirisena, 63, accused two-time president Rajapaksa, 69, of personally targeting him for vicious
attacks using the stage media. He said that he faced difficulties which no other presidential candidate before him had faced. Sirisena said that he was determined to establish a new decent political culture in the island to stop vituperative politics and related violence.

Rajapaksa sacked Sirisena from the post of general secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party when the latter challenged him as the opposition unity candidate backed by the then main opposition United National Party.

“I invite everyone devoid of party differences to support the new government’s 100-day programme. This will be the first step to make this country decent,” Sirisena said. Rajapaksa in the post-election period reinstated Sirisena’s SLFP membership and offered him the party leadership, a move the former president said was aimed at preventing the SLFP from being split.

Sirisena’s action to take up the SLFP leadership caused some heartburn among the UNP supporters who elected him defeating Rajapaksa.

“If I did not take up the leadership I would not have been able to progress with the 100 day program. I need the support of the SLFP as they are the majority in the current parliament. I ran a big risk by agreeing to be the unity candidate. I would have ended in jail if Rajapaksa won the election. My son and my son in law would have been arrested,” Sirisena said.

“Now that I have made a beginning, I want the country to enjoy the new culture of freedom and co-existence,” he said. The 100-day programme outlined in Sirisena’s election manifesto has pledged democratic and civil freedoms with a new constitution and a new election format.
Agencies

Agencies

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