In an address to the nation on November 11, president Sirisena reasoned that MPs were being bought, the conduct of speaker Karu Jayasuriya and disturbances feared in parliament and countrywide on November 14, when parliament was due to be convened.
Empty claims to fool the people
Responding, Ranawaka says the president has tried to make fools out of the people by his claims.
It is the president himself who has created a situation in which MPs were being bought by the parties, he has told BBC Sinhala Service.
Price for MPs
Many MPs who joined with president Maithripala Sirisena and PM
Mahinda Rajapaksa, including Manusha Nanayakakra who returned to the UNP after taking oaths as a deputy minister, have refuted the president’s claim.
Accusations against Karu Jayasuriya
Ranawaka also contested the president’s claim that speaker Karu Jayasuriya had disregarded parliamentary traditions.
It is the president who proposed Jayasuriya to the position of speaker, and he had acted democratically and constitutionally, whereas the president acted against the constitution and civilized society.
For that, he and his party will have to pay a very big political price, Ranawaka warned.
For his part, Jayasuriya issued a statement on November 11 and said the executive’s disregard for the legislature intentionally would seriously jeopardize people’s freedom and rights.
Claim of disturbances on Nov. 14
Furthermore, Ranawaka challenged the president’s claim citing remarks by both sides that disturbances, including bloodshed, would take place if parliament was convened on November 14.
He noted that bloodshed actually took place, when an attempt was made to kill Arjuna Ranatunga at his office, and asked as to who had paved the way for that situation.
Also, thugs took over the state media and government ministries, he said.
The government evicted us illegally, but we conducted ourselves in a nonviolent manner, Ranawaka added.