By S.K. Kaluarachchi and Lalith Chaminda
Power that the people had given to President Maithripala Sirisena was being used by others, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Saturday.
The former President, addressing a Daham Hamuwa, at Kacchiwatte Purana Rajamaha Vihara in Galle said: “I was told by one of the participants at this ceremony short while ago that during my tenure the number of members in the cabinet was high but now the number of executive presidents in the country was high.
There is some truth in that saying. There is a national executive council. There is no provision for such a thing even in the Constitution. That council has become a play pen of the JVP and TNA members. The JVP has become a branch of the UNP today. Not all the JVPers approve this situation.
JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake has a room in Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office. That was revealed to our members none other than the incumbent president. Although I cannot believe this, we have to accept it when it is said by the President!
“I love the SLFP but do not want to see that the SLFP members fall into the lap of the UNP. The SLFP is our life. Many fled this party but I never left it. So, none can tell me that I am not an SLFPer.”We are saddened by the recent developments in the national security affairs. The security of the country is in danger. I saw what is happening at Vilapattu jungles when it was shown by media. The government cannot continue to keep mum on these issues.
“Basil has been remanded for giving Rs. 2,500 each to Samrudhi beneficiaries and for paying gratuity allowances to the government servants. These were done after obtaining the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers. Now, these have been interpreted as swindling public money. I told Basil not to come back because I knew that he would be framed on false charges. But, he told me that he preferred to go to jail rather than giving credence to false charges. I have been accused of giving a ministerial portfolio to Tissa Attanayake. It was done in keeping with powers granted to the president by the Constitution. I have no problem with going before the bribery commission.”
Among those present were the Sanghannayaka of the Daskhina Lanka, Vice Chancellor of the Ruhuna University Ven Pallatthara Sumanajothi Thera, Senior Lecturer of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and Chief incumbent of the Sunethradevi Pirivena, Pepiliyana Ven Medagama Abhayatissa, Ven Uluvitake Bodhisinghe Thera. The event was organized by the Hela Bodu Saviya of Galle and MP Manusha Nanayakkara, and was attended by Chief Minister of the Southern Province Shan Vijayalal de Silva, Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody, Galle District MPs Nishantha Mutuhettigama, Mohan P de Silva, Ramesh Pathirana and a large number of local government members of the district.