The Maithri-Yahapalanaya syndrome is catchy
Politics in the Sri Lankan context has always been a drama worth watching. The various defections, mud-slinging and defamatory remarks politicians throw at one another are entertaining. The recent presidential elections provided a platform for many of these activities to take place in public. Many were overly-confident of a victory for former President Rajapaksa for a third term but things happened otherwise much to the dismay even of ‘presidential’ astrologers. It was no surprise therefore, to see many politicians seeking refuge in the island of ‘Yahapalanaya’. In order to revive memories, the Daily Mirror garnered some thought provoking comments certain new Cabinet Ministers of today made against the common candidate Mathripala Sirisena during the run-up to the Presidency. Following are some excerpts :
Ranil Wickremesinghe is working at no cost:
In one of his speeches made in Parliament, former minister of foreign employment Dilan Perera said, “Ranil Wickremasinghe is a ‘pin ibba’(a tortoise working for merit). His logo is the Elephant but thanks to the Swan he is now the prime minister. So how can he be a rabbit? The rabbit is President Sirisena.”
Currently he is the State Minister of Housing and Samurdhi.
Maithripala betrayed the party to our disappointment :
At a press conference held in Colombo on November 23, 2014, former minister of power and energy, Pavithra Wanniarachchi said, “No-one else will leave the party nor betray it the way ex-general secretary Maithripala Sirisena did. I am totally disappointed with the fact that Maithripala Sirisena had betrayed the party and was involved in an international conspiracy against the government. Maithripala Sirisena not only betrayed the party but has also become a key person who is struggling to bring Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe into power. Despite Maithripala Sirisena’s and other members’ defections, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has no competition [ in the presidential run] and he will be re-elected with a huge margin to continue his third term.”
The unexpected bet In another instance she had made a bet on her house in Pelmadulla that former President Rajapaksa would win the election.
She is now the State Minister of Environment.
Maithripala is campaigning with a child’s mentality :
Former minister of telecommunication & information technology, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said, “I saw Maithripala’s manifesto. In the good old days he used to say that he would stop the operation of casinos in Sri Lanka. Who ruled the country in April, 2003? It was Ranil Wickremasinghe who is now struggling to be the executive prime minister. Their prime goal is to defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa and get something done afterwards. This is similar to a child’s mentality.
So we need to defeat them.”
He is now the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs.
Maithripala is nowhere near President Rajapaksa :
At a meeting held in support to then President Rajapaksa, former minister of higher education S. B. Dissanayake said, “Everybody in Polonnaruwa was pressurised by the powerful Sirisena family. After competing with me for the post of general secretary [of the SLFP] he lost. He is not worth a single strand of President Rajapaksa’s hair.”
During another Sri Lanka Freedom Party press conference he said, “Our president says he has put an end to poverty, reduced maternity deaths, reduced infant mortality rates, built highways, developed the country, built irrigation channels provided electricity to rural areas and therefore to give him another chance as the president of the country. What does Maithripala Sirisena say? “I couldn’t include pictorial warnings in cigarette packs ; I couldn’t introduce the National Drug Regulatory Authority Act; I couldn’t stop the illegal import of lethal drugs which cause kidney diseases in Polonnaruwa because of some people who have illegally obtained money from the Ministry of Health. Therefore, please vote for me.
Currently however, he [ S.B. Dissanayake] is the Minister of Rural Economic Affairs.
Maithripala is attempting to race two horses at once :
Dr. Sarath Amunugama
Former deputy minister of finance and planning, Dr.Sarath Amunugama criticised MaithripalaSirisena’s decision to defect from the government and take up the position of the opposition’s common candidate. At an event held in Galagedara, Kandy in November 2014, he said, “If he has issues, we need to discuss them. He never said a word about his issues. Without saying anything, he had moved towards the United National Party. Do you wish to vote and make Ranil Wickremasinghe the prime minister. What did Maithripala Sirisena say in his speech yesterday? He said that if he wins, he would step down in 100 days and make Ranil Wickremasinghe the prime minister. Did we give him the post of the general secretary of the party [SLFP] for this? Maithripala is attempting to race two horses at once. One is the horse of the UNP and the other is the horse of the SLFP. This is never possible.
Currently he is the Minister of Higher Education and Research.