Common Opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena says he never raised issues about the rampant corruption within the government because he was threatened by President Rajapaksa to keep mum about issues concerning bribery and corruption in the regime.
Speaking at the launch of the book – the ‘Doom Boom Economy’ authored by JHU frontliner and former Minister Champika Ranawaka yesterday, Sirisena recalled the incident following which he had been threatened by President Rajapaksa to remain silent about the corruption within his government.
“It was in 2011; I had attended a progress review meeting of the Economic Development Ministry monetary projects. . . During the gathering, issues were raised concerning the prevalent public view of the large scale frauds in road construction projects. I spoke up then and stressed on the importance of rectifying such issues,” Sirisena recalled.
Sirisena said he received a phone call from Temple Trees the very next day. He had been summoned to meet the President, who had demanded to know whether he spoke on corruption over the construction of roads.
“I said yes and explained that it was a growing public view. I advised him that it was not a good development and on the need to address it immediately. President Rajapaksa then pointed his finger at me and said that if I am to remain in the government I must remain silent on the corruption within his regime. . . He also asked me ‘තමුසේ වෙන ගමනක්ද යන්න හදන්නේ’ (Are you attempting to undertake a separate journey?),” Sirisena said adding that it was on that day, he decided that he would not raise an issue on corruption until he left the Rajapska regime.