‘No force can stop Rajapaksa from becoming PM’
A day after Sri Lankan President and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) chairman Maithripala Sirisena came down heavily on his predecessor and prime ministerial hopeful Mahinda Rajapaksa, leaders of the SLFP-led United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) on Wednesday said Mr. Sirisena’s statement would not have any bearing on the outcome of the next month’s Parliamentary polls.
Going ahead with plans
“We are undeterred. We are going ahead with our plans for the elections,” Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, SLFP general secretary and one of the candidates contesting alongside Mr. Rajapaksa in the Kurunegala constituency, told The Hindu on Wednesday.
Vasudewa Nanayakkara, leader of the Democratic Left Front, a constituent of the UPFA, said the remarks have only portrayed Mr. Sirisena as an “open ally” of the United National Party (UNP). The President’s statement is “very hostile to us”, he added.
“There is no force on the earth that can stop Mr. Rajapaksa from becoming the Prime Minister,” said Mr. Nanayakkara.
SLFP general secretary Yapa feels that as people have realised that the present government [which has a number of UNP representatives], is “incapable” of handling the economy and it has no vision, they will vote for the UPFA this time. Earlier in the day, the UPFA announced that Mr. Rajapaksa would head its election committee, after a meeting of chairpersons of constituents of the alliance. The former President was also present.