Six Senior Ministers of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party(SLFP) have asked President Sirisena to ask Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to Step Down as they were not willing to serve under him.
The SLFP Ministers have also criticised Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake for allegedly suppressing high level investigations against the Rajapaksa family and associates
The SLFP ministers reportedly present at the meeting concerned were Nimal Siripala de Silva, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Susil Premajayantha, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Duminda Dissanayake and Dayasiri Jayasekera.
These details were disclosed in the “Sunday Times“political column of February 18th 2018.Relevant excerpts are stated below –
When the announcement of results, unexpectedly delayed, trickled in last Sunday, President Sirisena sat down with his SLFP ministers to discuss the situation. Present were Nimal Siripala de Silva, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Susil Premajayantha, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Duminda Dissanayake and Dayasiri Jayasekera.
A post-mortem examination got under way. The SLFP Ministers were of the view that the local polls were lost because of the misdeeds of the UNP Government and argued that they did not have a mandate to do most things. They said the SLFP policies were ignored. One of those who came in for severe criticism was Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake. They accused him of allegedly suppressing high profile investigations against the Rajapaksa family and his close associates although public pledges had been made during both presidential and parliamentary elections to bring offenders to book.
The Ministers cited several instances and insisted that Ratnayake should not hold the portfolio of Law and Order. They also charged that their previous appeals had not been heeded. Otherwise, they would not have lost the polls, they pointed out. Ratnayake, has denied the accusations, first raised at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers last year, that he was scuttling investigations by passing information to those in the Rajapaksa family.
A bigger shock came when the Ministers said President Sirisena should ask Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to step down since they were “no longer willing” to serve under him. One Minister pointed out to Sirisena that he was aware the President had raised Ratnayake’s matter with the Prime Minister on many occasions. Sirisena declared that he would make the ministerial changes. That he was contemplating such changes was disclosed in these columns last week. He would meet Premier Wickremesinghe and tell him the reasons necessitating the proposed changes and also why he had to exercise more authority.
Sirisena also noted that neither the SLFP nor the UNP was in a position to obtain the support of 113 MPs in a 225 seat Parliament. Hence, he would like to give both sides a fair chance to prove to him which one would be in a position to form a Government. He did acknowledge that some SLFPers including Ministers wanted to sit in the Opposition benches if Wickremesinghe was to continue as Prime Minister.