President Maithripala Sirisena issued a stern warning to unnamed politicians who have attacked him in recent times, stating that they could very well find themselves covered in so much dirt that even seven trips to the laundry might not be enough to get themselves cleaned up.
Speaking at a meeting in Nikaweratiya early today (November 24), Sirisena was clearly responding to a barrage of criticism aimed at him over the past few days over moves to postpone local government elections indefinitely.
The aggressive speech by Sirisena comes in the wake of criticism from the UNP and JVP, both parties that supported his election bid in January 2015.
The JVP’s censure was indirect with party leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake blaming the SLFP and in particular Minister Faizer Mustapha for what it called an orchestrated postponement of local government elections.
The UNP’s attack, launched through State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe, was far more direct.
Senasinghe, himself under a cloud regarding phone conversations with the prime suspect in the Central Bank Bond scam, Arjun Aloysius, accused the President of conspiring against the UNP by extending the life of the Commission of Inquiry. Senasinghe, alluding to Sirisena’s daughter Chathurika Sirisena who runs an advertising agency, asked why there were not presidential commissions to inquire into advertising deals.
President Sirisena, though belligerent, was careful to take issue only with ‘naive, juvenile and ill-advised’ members of both the Government and the Opposition and called on the ‘mature leaders’ to re-focus on the problems faced by the most disadvantaged sections of the population.
Colombo Telegraph learns that many UNP parliamentarians had raised questions with party leader and prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, regarding Sirisena’s recent political moves.
Many had pointed out that even though the UNP had been gracious enough to give Sirisena enough time to consolidate himself within his party, the SLFP, the president had responded by conspiring to weaken the UNP. Wickremesinghe, however, told party members to leave him (Sirisena) alone.