Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha thera – leader of the People’s Movement for a Just Society denies being part of a meeting last night that was attended by President Rajapaksa where he was allegedly coerced into abandoning his call to field a common candidate at the upcoming election.
However, several news websites state that Sobitha thera was summoned to a meeting which took place at the residence of businessman and controversial politician Tiran Alles that was attended by President Rajapaksa, his brother Gotabaya and Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva.
According to the reports, as soon as Sobitha thera arrived at the meeting an agitated President had immediately questioned him as to whether he was plotting to ‘ruin him’.
However, following discussions with the President he had explained that it was not a personal attack but a call for establishing a just society in Sri Lanka to which the President had responded by stating that he would give a written undertaking to implement all of Sobitha thera’s requests including the abolition of the Executive Presidency within six months of his re-election. In return he has been asked to abandon the call to form a common opposition and field a common candidate at the upcoming election.
The reports state furthermore that he had asked for two days to consult with the other members of the movement stating that he cannot reach an arbitrary decision and Minister Silva and Gotabhaya are due to visit the monk at his temple tonight to obtain the verdict.
However, Sobitha thera speaking to Colombo Telegraph assured that his stance has not changed and denied web reports above.