Mahinda cancels one-on-one with Maithripala to protest harassment of Rajapaksas


By Dasun Edirisinghe

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided against having one-on-one with President Maithripala Sirisena to protest against what he called continuing harassment of the Rajapaksas as well as senior officials of the previous administation.

Dissident SLFPers yesterday said that former President Rajapaksa felt that there was no purpose in meeting the incumbent president.

The former President’s position was revealed by former Minister and Kalutara District MP Kumara Welgama at a special press conference held at the parliamentary complex on Friday. Although SLFP General Secretary and MP Anura Priyadarshana Yapa facilitated the proposed one-on-one between the two leaders, the meeting wouldn’t take place on Saturday (April 25) as scheduled, MP Welgama said.

The MP explained the circumstances under which he and MP T.B. Ekanayake had met President Maithripala Sirisena to discuss ways and means of resolving the differences between them.

Welgama insisted that the continuing harassment of those perceived as Mahinda Rajapaksa supporters should stop immediately.Welgama said: "Removal of T.B. Ekanayake from the Central Committee is a case in point. Soon after T.B. Ekanayake returned home after having met President Maithripala Sirisena, he received a letter informing him of a decision to expel him from the Central Committee."

MP Welgama said that the former President had some previously arranged engagements, therefore the Saturday’s meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena couldn’t take place.

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