President Maithripala Sirisena has flatly rejected to grant any concession to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the forthcoming election campaign, Cabinet spokesman and Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said today.
Minister Senaratne told the weekly cabinet news briefing that President Sirisena categorically told the six-member committee appointed to mend fences among the two worrying factions that Mr. Rajapaksa did not qualify to be nominated as the Prime Ministerial candidate, in the national list or get nominations from the SLFP to contest the poll.
“The six member committee met President Sirisena yesterday to discuss the responsibility the former President Rajapaksa would be entrusted with at the upcoming parliamentary polls campaign among other matters. They requested to nominate Mr. Rajapaksa as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the UPFA at the election campaign and also nominate him if his name was not included in the National List of the SLFP. President Sirisena told the committee in no uncertain terms that no nomination as the Prime Ministerial candidate or no inclusion of his name in the National List of the SLFP. He would not get party nominations to contest the election either,” Minister Senaratne said.
He said the six-member committee comprising Opposition Whip John Seneviratne, UPFA General Secretary and SLFP National Organizer Susil Premajayantha, SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Dilan Perera, Kumara Welgama and T.B.Ekanayake were entrusted with the task of mending the fences between the two groups and creating a strong political front under President Sirisena assisted by Rajapaksa.
However, Minister Senaratne noted that any politician, political party or group was free to join the UPFA and support its election campaign.
The people have clearly rejected the policies and the style of the governance of the previous regime and therefore, attempts to bring back rejected politicians and policies back to power was an insult to the people who elected Maithripala Sirisena as the President and the government formed under his leadership.
‘The people must decide at the forthcoming election whether they would continue to support the good governance under president Sirisena or restore the pillaging and plundering Rajapaksa regime. They also must decide whether they approve to punish the rogues who looted public money or let them free and open the gates once again for corruption, lawlessness and thuggery,” Minister Senaratne stressed.(Sandun Jayasekera)