The Joint Oppositions Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday that about eleven hours before he defected to Opposition ranks, President Mahinda Rajapaksa had told him that UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was joining the government.
Addressing a JOF election meeting at Kirulapone, Sirisena recalled that in response to the Presidents sarcastic reference to Wickremesinghe, he had smilingly replied “Yes , Sir, he is coming.”
“The Rajapaksas are accusing me of having deserted them after eating hoppers at the last SLFP meeting I attended. What did they expect me to do? Throw away the food that is offered? Only uncultured people would have done that,” he said.
Sirisena pointed out that the UPFA government was sinking because it no longer respected or followed the democratic policies of its founder leaders. “The powers that be are feathering their own nest while denying the people of their democratic rights and heaping more and more burdens on them.”
Instead of improving the lives of the masses who had undergone immense suffering to ensure that the LTTE was defeated, the Rajapaksas were doling out the crumbs while taking the lion’s share and shamelessly claiming that it was they alone who had won the war. Anyone who dared to expose the wrongs they had committed were promptly branded as ‘traitors’ harassed and victimised in every conceivable manner, Sirisena pointed out.