Although many Yahapalanaya supporters may be shocked now that President Maithripala Sirisena has given nominations to Mahinda Rajapaksa, it was correctly reported by Colombo Telegraph on the 15th of Janaury 2015, quoting close sources, that the Maithripala / Mahinda combination had in fact agreed to a secret pact prior to Rajapaksa handing over the Chairmanship to Maithripala at the residence of the speaker.
Even though President Maithripala denied the fact that any agreement was made then, it was rightly exposed by Colombo Telegraph that the agreement was two fold. The first was that the current President Maithripala not take action against any one of the ‘Rajapaksa clan’ and that the former President would be permitted to contest the General Elections.
On January 15th, we reported as follows;
Despite his initial struggle to remain as the SLFP Chairman, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has agreed to resign from the position and hand it over to to President Maithripala Sirisena. His agreement to hand over the position to President Sirisena has been due to a deal that he has been trying to make in order to halt the inquiries into the corruptive and undemocratic acts committed by the Rajapaksas and members of his regime. He had also requested that he be given the chance to contest at the upcoming general elections.
Also what is unfolding today is the advice that Basil Rajapaksa gave his ousted big brother the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa which was also exposed by Colombo Telegraph on the 12th January 2015, barely three days after being ousted. In that expose titled ” Basil Tells Mahinda: Allow UFA to Support Maithri“, is where the former Economic Minister strategically advises the former President not to scuttle with the new President, but rather support him in his first few days of claiming office. This advise was more in order to get closer to the new President and claim him to be a SLFP man and in seeking avenues in elbowing out the United National Party.
On January 12th, we reported as follows;
Former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa has urged his brother and defeated President Mahinda Rajapaksa to allow the UPFA to extend support to new President Maithripala Sirisena.
Basil, who is one of the main strategists of the Rajapaksa camp has urged his brother not to scuttle President Sirisena’s first days in office since it would be more tactical to claim the new President as a SLFP man and try to make a comeback that way.
Although Mahinda wants to return to Parliament when the session reopens on January 19 Basil is urging his brother to play a tactical game and allow the party to align with Sirisena and elbow out the UNP. Once the SLFP supports Sirisena in full the Sirisena presidency will become a SLFP presidency and it will boost the party’s chances at the general election in April 2015.
With an SLFP presidency most government institutions will once more be in the hands of a blue party man, is Basil Rajapaksa’s thinking.
Basil Rajapaksa’s calculation is that when the constitution is changed and a parliamentary model of governance is adopted, Mahinda Rajapaksa can contest as SLFP leader win the election and become Prime Minister. With executive powers of the presidency abolished by then, Sirisena would have less control that Rajapaksa in the parliamentary system.