Home / Front Page/ Power switch in the works for 4-5 months: Namal

Power switch in the works for 4-5 months: Namal


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Saturday, 3 November 2018 00:41


Less than a week after what was seen as an abrupt move by the President to replace the Prime Minister, Namal Rajapaksa, the son of the newly sworn-in Prime Minister, said that his father and the President had been in talks for around “four to five months”.

On 26 October, President Maithripala Sirisena fired the elected Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with Mahinda Rajapaksa. On Thursday, Namal Rajapaksa, in an interview with NDTV, said that his father was sworn in on the President’s “invitation and wish” and that the two leaders had been in talks for months. 

“It was President Sirisena’s invitation and wish. The discussion between the two leaders, as to what they should do next to bring back political, economic and social stability to the country for the next few months, as far as we know, goes back four to five months,” said Namal Rajapaksa, adding that, as old colleagues, they always had a working relationship and had been in touch since the 2015 elections. 

This runs contrary to Sirisena’s assertion that the surprise move to oust the Prime Minister came after it came to light that a member of Wickremesinghe’s Cabinet had allegedly plotted to kill him. Wickremesinghe had denied the allegations. However, Namal Rajapaksa questioned why he did not say anything about the controversy sooner.

“He never mentioned anything like that at that time. He kept quiet till everything escalated. There was a DIG who was involved, who is remanded at the moment, and there are voice recordings that have been given and the voices have been tallied... See, it is a serious allegation and it is a serious investigation, the plot to assassinate a Head of State. But I’m sure what mattered to President Sirisena was not only that, but there are many other reasons,” said Namal Rajapaksa. 

President Sirisena and the Rajapaksas were on the same side of the political spectrum until they had a falling out. Sirisena joined arms with Prime Minister Wickremesinghe to defeat the Rajapaksas in the 2015 elections. 

However, Namal Rajapaksa said that this partnership had never really worked.

“It never worked. From the first day, of course, we knew, that the alliance was not going to work. There was friction. They both come from two different backgrounds. They have two different political ideologies, two different political parties, and totally extreme economic, social and political policies. So these things will never merge. But, unfortunately, at that time, they saw this as an opportunity to defeat my father. And this entire coalition came together for the 2015 elections. But what I must highlight is they never had a plan to govern the country,” he said.

The recent shifts in the political tides in the country has raised concerns in India as well. While Wickremesinghe is perceived to be more India-friendly, Mahinda Rajapaksa is seen to have pro-China leanings. However, Namal Rajapaksa reassures that India need not worry.

“There is no Chinese or any sort of foreign influence on any decision taken by my father or his Government. We do know that in the past there was a misperception or misunderstanding between India and Sri Lanka. India shouldn’t be worried at all. India will be a developing partner for us. India had been working very closely with my father during the war. India helped us defeat terrorism. And we fought India’s war. Prabhakaran assassinated Rajiv Gandhi. We all know that. So, we fought not only our war, but we brought peace to the region. My father brought peace to the region,” he said.


Share This Article


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Untruth is the crisis

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Political language, said George Orwell, is designed to make lies sound truthful, murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. Dr. Sarath Amunugama is the subject of this essay. In addition to his current incarnation of a p


Rise, Sri Lankans – our country needs you now!

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

I am sick, tired and bloody fed up of reading and listening to pessimistic tales of woe on the unprecedented crisis we and our country are facing at this dark moment in time. I am also fed up to the back teeth with reading and listening to lamentatio


Ranil abused and subverted parliamentary democracy

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

TIME: What was the immediate reason for calling an election? President Kumaratunga: I was forced into it by a total breakdown of cohabitation in Government. The Prime Minister (Ranil Wickremesinghe) was determined to harass me and chase me out. He ha


The Bench must ensure that the judges will continue to be trusted

Monday, 12 November 2018

In the backdrop of the recent developments and the strong arguments that have been presented against the dissolution of Parliament saying the President has no constitutional power to do so, before four and a half years into a Parliamentary term, as s


Columnists More