In his five-page long letter to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, President Maithripala Sirisena has once again reiterated his position that Rajapaksa would not be appointed Prime Minister even if the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) wins the upcoming General Election.
In his letter, which President Sirisena had sent in his capacity as Chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), he has noted that there were several seniors in the SLFP who deserved the prime ministerial position in the event of a UPFA win.
He has appealed to Rajapaksa to show the people his generosity by giving his blessings for one of these seniors to be appointed PM in the event of a UPFA victory.
The President has further accused Rajapaksa of stirring up communalism through his public statements and has requested him not to do so.
Sirisena had also disclosed that he had wanted to lead the SLFP’s campaign at the General Election but had given up the idea for the sake of the party after Rajapaksa signed nominations to contest the election. Sirisena has claimed he did this as otherwise, Rajapaksa would have contested separately and it would have divided the party.
If Rajapaksa had chosen not to contest, as Sirisena had told him to, Sirisena claimed in the letter that he would have been able to win over to the SLFP, the support of the various sections that contributed to his victory during the Presidential Election.
In the letter, he has accused Rajapaksa of being a prisoner of the smaller constituent parties of the UPFA.
Revealing that he and Rajapaksa had met thrice after the January 8 election and that the two had a telephone conversation two days before Rajapaksa signed nominations to contest, the President has reminded that he offered Rajapaksa an honorable position through a provision in the Constitution, but that this offer had been rejected, though even most members of the Rajapaksa family had been supportive of his proposal.
The President had also revealed that his strong friendship with Rajapaksa soured due to activities of Basil Rajapaksa.
Read President Sirisena’s full letter below: