President Maithripala Sirisena said today the late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, who came forward to set up a Government through a common candidate, never asked that common candidate to loot the Central bank.
The President expressed these views at the 76th commemoration of the late Ven. Sobitha Thera held at Foundation Institute in Colombo.
President Sirisena, who paid a surprise visit to the event, said he had not received an official invitation to attend the event.
“I am a person who came forward to make this country a better country and carry out the principles of good governance in its good sense. I could have earned huge amount of money as the Health Minister if I wanted. I regret about the wrong interpretations given on me. It is surprising to know that cases against wrongdoers as expected by the people are not taken up because of me,’ he said.
“People never expected that investigation would be launched into the incident where former Minister T.B. Ekanayake giving a vehicle to someone, Priyankara Jayaratne giving a job to his daughter and Minister A.H.M. Fowzie taking a vehicle to another Ministry.”
“People in this country expected not those things. If family members of murdered ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen and lawyers appeared in his case were taken to one place and asked, they would reveal what had happened.”
“We must see why I could not carry out most of what people expected me to do after electing me the President. I had not experienced insults, character assassination and disgrace in my 47-year-old political career than I experienced as the President. As former President Ranasinghe Premadasa had said, I am someone who is “well-tempered with politics”
“Some people say if anyone contested the Presidential Election as the common candidate could have won. If so they could have done so. I was used as the common candidate as I was a clean politician and came forward as a lion despite life threats,” he said.
“After I was sworn in as the President on January 9, Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the Prime Minister. However, the UNP had only 47 seats in Parliament then. How can a Government be formed with only 47 seats?
“These people came up with a One-hundred-day Programme, which didn’t include a dissolving of Government. If that programme was not in place, the main task available was to dissolve Parliament. The One-hundred-day Programme was one of the silliest things.
“Had I not accepted the chairmanship of the SLFP, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake of the group of 47 MPs could have failed to pass the budget in Parliament.
“Who provided helicopters to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to go to Tangalle unharmed after the Presidential election results were announced? Was it me? No! It was so and so,” President Sirisena said.