On May 1, while thousands gathered at Sri Lanka’s Galle Face Green, to attend the May Day rally organised by forces loyal to Mahinda Rajapakse, one of the former President’s closes aides made a controversial call.
He took to the microphone and urged the public to raise black flags when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in the country on May 11, to protest the Indian leadership’s visit to the island country.
This call was made by non other than Wimal Weerawansa, who has a history of being a ‘drama king’ in the Sri Lankan political arena. While Weerawansa went on with his rants, former President Mahinda Rajapakse stood on the stage, saying nothing.
Weerawansa further went on to say that Modi and the Sri Lankan government were discussing a deal on Trincomalee which he told the public, must be opposed.
“They are trying to sell Sri Lanka to India,” he further screamed into the microphone.
However, when Modi finally did arrive in the country on Thursday afternoon, he began his scheduled meetings and visits. Media persons were then informed that the visiting Indian delegation including India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka will meet journalists late on Thursday night to brief them about the Indian Prime Minister’s visit.
During the press conference, Indian officials made a remark which caught everyone’s attention. Modi had on Thursday in between his tight schedule met Mahinda Rajapakse at Rajapakse’s request.
“Former President Mahinda Rajapakse requested for a meeting to call on our Prime Minister and the Indian Prime Minister kindly agreed,” Indian officials said.
“It was a very cordial discussion and former President Mahinda Rajapakse was very happy about the development corporation which India has been sending to Sri Lanka over the years including at present,” the officials said.
Rajapakse himself, on Friday tweeted, “As always, a cordial meeting with PM narendramodi yestreday. Happy to see him in Sri Lanka for International Vesak day celebrations.”
Mahinda being ‘happy’ with the Indo-Sri Lanka development corporation should have been conveyed to Weerawansa because little did he know that while his black flag protest call had made headlines, his leader would hold cordial discussions with Modi upon the latter’s arrival to the island country, making us wonder if the Joint Opposition maintained one face for the innocent public while held another in the international arena.