Sri Lanka ex-president Chandrika slams Mahinda
ECONOMYNEXT – Former president Chandrika Kumaratunga weighed in on the parliamentary elections campaign today with a stinging attack on the de facto opposition Prime Ministerial hopeful Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Kumaratunga indirectly appealed to supporters of her Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) not to support Rajapaksa even though he had secured nominations from the party to stand as a candidate from the Kurunegala district.
"To protect the party (SLFP), we must first rebuild the nation," Kumaratunga said in a four-page statement issued in Sinhala.
"It is extremely important that we protect the victory of January 8."
Kumaratunga said she was forced to return from her retirement because Rajapakse was "ruining the party and the country."
She applauded progress made by the government of President Maithripala Sirisena to tackle corruption and end the culture of violence and the lack of rule of law.
"The defeated leader (Rajapaksa) has tried to mount a counter revolution. By manipulation of some senior members of the UPFA/ SLFP, he has been trying to obstruct the government.
"I am more distressed by the fact that seniors in the UPFA/SLFP don’t seem to want to reform the party. It shows their own degeneration."
Kumaratunga did not directly ask voters not to support UPFA candidates, but the tenor of her scathing attack was that SLFP loyalists should switch sides and ensure a defeat of Rajapaksa.
However, it was not clear how the rank and file would respond to her, given that she herself had become highly unpopular in her second term after failing to deliver on her promises to reform the country’s political system. (Colombo/Aug05/2015)