Despite having instructed former General Secretary of the SLFP to refrain from mentioning the Bandaranaike name, President Rajapaksa has said yesterday that he still deeply respects Sirimavo Bandaranaike and revers her.
Addressing a rally in Nawalapitiya yesterday, he had said that it was Mrs. B who brought all of his siblings as well as himself into the political arena and that he would never forget it.
“I have not brought a single sibling of mine into politics. We were all brought to this field by Mrs. Bandaranaike. She invited Chamal Rajapaksa and when he declined the first time, I was given the chance. When she re-invited him he accepted and joined politics. This is why we still respect her; her picture is still in our houses, we still revere her . . . we will not forget our past so I think people inside glass houses should not be throwing stones at others. . .,” he said.
This is in contradiction to the allegations that are being leveled against him and his family by the SLFP-ers who defected about strong attempts being made to erase the Bandaranaike name from the party.
Following his crossover and after being named the common Opposition candidate, Maithripala Sirisena who was the former General Secretary of the SLFP said he was given clear instructions by President Rajapaksa to refrain from mentioning the names of SWRD Bandaranaike or Mrs. Bandaranaike during SLFP events.