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RW hits back

The United National Front Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday refuted all allegations levelled against him by President Maithripala Sirisena in his address to the nation, likening them to childish tales.

Calling the move to appoint former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister “illegal, anti-constitutional and an opportunistic act,” a very collected Wickremesinghe, speaking to media from the Temple Trees lawn, compared President Sirisena’s reasoning to appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa to a child’s antics, telling tales to cover up his blunders. “I wish to express my regrets on President Maithripala Sirisena declaring that he nominated the Prime Minister, who has no command of the majority of the House.

He is talking of assassination plots to cover up his misdeed.

He tells stories even a child would not believe,” the ousted Prime Minister said.

President Sirisena, in his address to the nation on Sunday, stated that one of the main reasons for sacking Wickremesinghe from the post was the disregard the latter paid towards the alleged plot to assassinate him, and rampant corruption in the UNP-led Government.

Calling the prevailing political situation a crisis never heard of in the history of the country, Wickremesinghe warned of serious repercussions if a democratic solution is not achieved soon.

“In the history of Sri Lanka, we have never heard of a crisis situation like this in our country. What happened last Friday was illegal, anti-constitutional and an opportunistic act. The ill effects of this act were visible immediately. The incidents which took place at ITN, Rupavahini and the Lake House on Friday night indicated what is going to happen to media freedom in this country.”

As the country descended into more chaos by the fourth day into the constitutional crisis, Wickremesinghe warned of more difficult times ahead.

“The instability prevailing in this country is not good. We witness today the problems people have to face due to this situation. The era of queues has commenced. The Government machinery has come to a halt. The economy we controlled with greater difficulty has crashed. This unfortunate situation is adversely affecting the future of this country and the future of our children,” he said.

Echoing the request made by three main political parties in the country to the Speaker, the ousted Prime Minister called on the Speaker to convene the prorogued Parliament.

“Today, all political parties and civil society are requesting to summon the Parliament immediately. The international community has informed to act within the available legal framework and the Constitution. Therefore, I would like to earnestly request the Speaker to summon the Parliament immediately. The solution for this unfortunate situation prevailing in this country lies solely with the Parliament.”

The United National Front, led by Wickremesinghe, the Tamil National Alliance, and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna have made written requests to the Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya to convene the prorogued Parliament, following the President’s arbitrary decision to postpone sittings on Saturday.

Wickremesinghe also called on all people to stand against the ‘anti-constitutional dictatorship’ that looms over the country.

“Not the people of this small island alone, but the rest of the world is with us at this moment. I request all of you to forget political differences and rally around us, to re-establish democracy in this country in order to ensure a better future for our younger generations. The Speaker has summoned the Parliament immediately. We can save our country from this unfortunate and difficult situation only through re-establishing democracy within the Parliamentary system.”

(FT)

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