Following the joint opposition’s rally at Hyde Park in Colombo on the 17th, president Maithripala Sirisena sent a team of his loyalists to meet with Elle Gunawansa Thera, say reliable sources. Speaking to the Thera via a mobile phone of one of them, the president had a lengthy review of the prevailing political situation and said in the end, “had Mahinda Rajapaksa given me the premiership, he would still have been the president.”
Immediately, Gunawansa Thera telephoned Mahinda and related to him everything he was told by the president. Through speaker phone, the Thera allowed all to hear what Mahinda said in response.
“I do not want any deal with Maithri after he sent my boy inside on false cases and tormented me. My last deal is premiership. If I am given than, I can form an entirely SLFP government. I will support it. If I am not given the premiership, I will end his presidency too.”
The team of loyalists of the president has told the Thera that the president would never agree to give premiership to Mahinda. As an alternative, either Chamal or Gotabhaya could be given a top position in the government or the SLFP, they said. The team of loyalists of the president left with the intention of having yet another discussion with the Thera later.