President Maithripala Sirisena and controversial businessman Tiran Alles have planted a fake news in the Mawbima and Ceylon Today newspapers, owned by Alles, saying UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has promised the post of Finance Minister and a deputy leader position in the party to Ravi Karunanayake.
The objectives of the fake news were to create a fresh division between Wickremesinghe and UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa and to frustrate the middle class with Wickremesinghe’s leadership. Sirisena contracted Alles to launch the misinformation campaign after his advisors informed Sirisena that the ousted Prime Minister is rapidly becoming popular among the middle-class voters.
This also comes ahead of the UNP’s plans to present a confidence motion to parliament in support of Wickremesinghe. The misinformation campaign is a desperate attempt by Sirisena to drive a wedge between Wickremesinghe and his Deputy Leader Premadasa, informed political sources said.
Sources close to Wickremesinghe confirmed Colombo Telegraph no such assurances have been given to any UNP Parliament on party positions and Cabinet positions. “At this point, everyone is focused on resolving the current political deadlock and forming a legitimate government in the country. No discussion has taken place with anyone over positions,” they added.
Sources close to Karunanayake also stated that no such discussion had taken place between the former Minister and the ousted Prime Minister. They categorically rejected reports to the effect that Wickremesinghe had given a letter to Karunanayake assuring the Finance Minister and party deputy leader portfolios.