Embattled President fighting on all fronts

  • Rajapaksa’s Joint Opposition ready to support him in security measures to tackle IS terror, but no political support
  • Evidence emerges that IS chose Sri Lanka because of its close military ties with US;latest agreement runs into 80 pages
  • UNP leadership crisis grows; Wickremesinghe faces party revolt to oust him ahead of presidential election

Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa was in a multi-color handloom shirt and sarong, not his white national dress with the maroon satakaya (shawl) around his neck, when he greeted President Maithripala Sirisena at the latter’s residence on Thursday night.

He said he did not have time to change clothes for Sirisena’s meeting with leaders of Opposition political parties. He had been at the wedding of onetime Minister, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene’s son. Looking dapper, the President replied that he too was at a wedding of the son of former Minister Vijith Vijithamuni de Soysa MP. It was to be held at the Shangri La Hotel. Due to its closure after damage caused by the Easter Sunday carnage by pro-IS terror groups, the reception had been shifted to Temple Trees, now the official residence of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

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