‘My govt. cannot be toppled’ – President

‘We will run our full term until 2020’

by Zacki Jabbar

President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday that his national government was strong and would run its full term even though some in the Opposition had predicted that it would not last even a year.

Addressing a ceremony to appoint three more Cabinet Ministers bringing the total number to 46 and 19 State and 21 Deputy Ministers at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo, the President said that it was only wishful thinking on the part of some Opposition MPs who were going around claiming that they would topple his administration very soon.

With Parliament fixing the total number of ministers at 48 the remaining two slots had been sought by EPDP leader Douglas Devananda and CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman. However Devanada told The Island that President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had agreed to work with them but did not make any commitment to giving portfolios.

Government sources did not rule out the possibility of Devananda and Thondaman being sworn in as Ministers later.

President Sirisena said that his opponents who were dreaming of capturing power based on their interpretation of the August 17 general election results, could not understand that the UNP and SLFP had established a national government based on sound principles and it would be in power until 2020 without any problems.

"Ours is a stable and a strong government. No one will be able to overthrow or weaken it," he emphasised.

Srisena said that the UNP-led United National Front and SLFP had joined hands not out of greed for power, but with a long term vision for the country, the first phase of which was the accelerated 60-month development programme that they had just commenced.

Their guiding principles would be good governance, corruption free development and restoration of the rule of law, the President said.

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