SLFP not interested in Presidential poll aims to win Parliament -Sirisena
President Maithripala Sirisena is vowing that he will lead the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) to form the “next government of this country in 2020,” by focusing on the Parliamentary General elections due next year, and not on the Presidential elections in the next few weeks.
Speaking at the Annual Convention of the SLFP in Colombo earlier today Sirisena said that the next elected President will not have much power to wield. “He will not even have the Ministry of Defense” he pointed out because of the changes brought about by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.
“All the power will be in the hands of the Prime Minister,” he said.
He said that the SLFP will be rebuilt, village by village, so that it will pose a formidable challenge at the next general election.
Sirisena said that the people have seen through the crass, self-serving political class “who jump from one political party to the other like frogs, not for the sake of the country, but only for themselves.”
He said that the SLFP will bring to the people a sustainable green economy that will be home-grown where the benefits will be equally distributed to the population.
Sirisena said that some of the promises that were given in 2015 have been kept.
“I brought democracy and freedom to this country, and I am proud to say that during my rule no weapon held by a member of the security forces was fired unjustly at an ordinary citizen. I also did not misuse the Armed Forces or police in any way to carry out actions that were unjust,” which was an indirect attack on the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. “I provided Sri Lankans with a Just Society,” he claimed.
Sirisena took a swipe at the elites of this country calling them a corrupt, feudal gang that looks out for each other. “They have no country, no nationality and no religion,” he said. “I have been fighting a lone battle against them,” he said lumping the Rajapaksas and the United National Party leaders into one.
“We have to expose this gang to the people,” he thundered.
“They claim to be patriots, but we know that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel,” Sirisena said quoting Samuel Johnson.
Sirisena painted himself as a lone fighter inside the government against corruption and against efforts to change the very nature of this country into a “neo-Liberal state.”
Leading with that remark Sirisena saved his invective for the man who was his partner in government but never got along with, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. He barely used the Premier’s name but blamed him for a number of things.
He said that the Supreme Court has ruled that the Provincial Council elections cannot be held because the Prime Minister had not presented the Delimitation Report. “It is because of the Prime Minister that these elections cannot be held, and may never be held,” he claimed.
However, in the Media release issued by the President’s Secretary Udaya Ratnayake last evening describing the Supreme Court ruling on the PC elections, there is no specific mention of the PM’s role in the matter.
He also talked of the Central bank Bonds scam and pointed out that the “paperwork to extradite (former CBSL Governor) Arjuna Mahendran has been completed.” Mahendran is a Wickremesinghe loyalist and is facing charges in the Bonds scam for alleged collusion with a Bonds trader, his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius.
The papers to “fix rest of them who are above Mahendran are also ready,” he told his cheering audience. “Some of these people are talking of Presidential elections,” he said.
He said his troubles with Wickremesinghe led him to sack the Prime Minister and appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place, to probably loudest cheer that he got during his address.
Towards the end of his speech, Sirisena reminded his supporters that he and the SLFP turned 68-years old today.
“That means I have reached maturity,” he said.