ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe claimed that he received a threatening phone call from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa this morning.
The MP told reporters today that an irate president had hurled abuse at him in language that was not befitting a head of state. Rajapakshe claimed he was forced to respond in kind.
According to Rajapakshe, the president had been angered by his remarks yesterday about the China-backed Port City project. At a press conference in Colombo yesterday, flanked by Muruththettuwe Ananda Thero of the Abayaramaya Temple, Rajapakshe said a hurriedly drafted ‘Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill’ is a threat to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty.
The erstwhile Rajapaksa ally also launched a scathing attack on the president and his brother Basil Rajapaksa at the same media briefing.
“It is the duty of a parliamentarian to speak up for the rights of the people. If a president chooses to see that as something wrong, how can we take this country where it needs to go?” Rajapakshe said today.
“Threatening MPs this way is a serious matter. We have to fear for our lives when a president makes such threats,” he said, adding that he has informed the Inspector General of Police about the exchange.
Ananda Thero too had received a similar call, he further claimed. The prominent Buddhist monk is believed to be a staunch ally of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Rajapakshe provided no evidence for the alleged phone calls.
There was no immediate response for a comment from the President’s office. (Colombo/Apr16/2021)