A likely split within the UPFA was visible during a press briefing held by the party a short while ago during which SLFP stalwart Maithripala Sirisena was absent and the Ministers who attended the conference revealed more than what they intended to.
SLFP member and Minister Susil Premajayantha speaking at the media breifing said even though certain members of the coalition have left, they would nevertheless continue to grow stronger.
He said the SLFP Central Committee and the UPFA members have mutually agreed on fielding President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the candidate at the upcoming Presidential polls and said that steps are already underway to organise necessary election propaganda for Mahinda Rajapaksa’s candidacy.
Despite his seemingly confident speech, things did not appear all that perfect as speculations that have been circulating about a split within the SLFP seemed abundantly clear by the absence of Health Minister and SLFP stalwart Maithripala Sirisena.
His fallout with the regime that had taken a serious turn during a meeting earlier this week was hinted at during a breif discussion he had with the media this morning at an event held at the Battaramulla Janakala Kendraya.
When asked about his fallout and of the rumours of his possible cross over Minister Sirisena said,”No such decision has been taken so far. But I will not comment about the future because anything is possible. . .(laughs) We should allow time to solve everything but then again, one must not rely too much on time to solve matters either.. .”
Colombo Telegraph reliably learns that an extremely emotional Minister Sirisena had cried during a breakfast meeting this morning when he spoke about his fallout with the regime with his close relatives and family. He had been overwhelmed by the news of the likely removal of him as the SLFP General Secretary, his portfolio as the Health Minister and of other responsibilities within the SLFP.
It has been reported that Minister Sirisena is due to make a special statement this afternoon and meet Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe this afterwards. But he did not confirm it when inquired in the morning.
Meanwhile National Freedom Front Leader and government Minister Wimal Weerawansa sent out an indirect threat to the ‘common candidate’ during the press breifing today stating that he/she will realise the ‘truth’ which Sarath Fonseka has finally understood presently. He also requested the leadership of the Jathika Hela Urumaya to rethink their decision on whom to support at the upcoming presidential polls and added that the plan to field a common candidate backed by a common opposition is part of an international conspiracy.