- SLPP Govt. says it hasn’t ‘fallen enough to make a national Govt.’
The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP)-led Government said yesterday (28) that there are no plans to appoint former Prime Minister and current United National Party (UNP) Leader and Parliamentarian Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Premier or form a national unity Government.
“Wickremesinghe represents one of the oldest parties in Sri Lanka but still could not get even one seat in the Parliament through votes. Why would we appoint him as the Prime Minister?” questioned Ports and Shipping Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena at the SLPP media briefing held yesterday.
Agreeing with Abeygunawardena, SLPP General Secretary and MP Sagara Kariyawasam said that the most suitable person in the country for the Premier position is currently holding it. “When that is the case, why would we even think of anybody else?” he queried.
Furthermore, Abeygunawardena said that the all-party conference which was held under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa last week was not done with the aim of making a national Government.
“It was held based on many requests and if possible, to get good ideas or proposals even from the Opposition. We have not fallen enough to make a national Government.”
At the all-party conference last week, Wickremesinghe and Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa locked horns over the latter’s refusal to submit the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) draft report on Sri Lanka, despite multiple requests by Wickremesinghe and other members of the Opposition. Wickremesinghe further criticised Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal at the all-party conference for politicising the attempt to find a joint solution to the economic crisis by bringing up mistakes of the former United National Front (UNF)-led Government. Following this, the President extended his apologies to Wickremesinghe, noting: “I apologise if your feelings were hurt.”
Reports of Wickremesinghe being given the position of Prime Minister in the current Government have been prominent following the incidents at the all-party conference.
Last week in Parliament, Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage claimed that members of the main Parliamentary Opposition, the Samagi Jana Balawegeya (SJB), will join Wickremesinghe in the UNP by the middle of April.