Meeting suspended for  ½ hr. after president left Meeting suspended for ½ hr. after president left
Jan 17, 2018

No journey together possible in this manner, president tells cabinet Featured

President Maithripala Sirisena stormed out of the cabinet meeting yesterday (16) after making a scathing verbal attack on UNP ministers.

He left even before the cabinet papers were taken up for discussion and the meeting remained suspended for around half an hour.

Chairing the meeting at the Presidential Secretariat, he made a half hour speech at the outset, describing his political journey up to the presidency.

He said the ministers might not find his speech interesting, but that since he needed it, he would record it.

Is it wrong to work against corruption?

The president asked if he was wrong to appoint the bond commission and to work against corruption.

He insisted that he submitted the bond commission report not with the intention of attacking anyone, but that certain UNP MPs continued to attack him, stressing that no journey together would be possible in that manner.

Allowed PM to exercise powers of the executive

President Sirisena said he would never be ungrateful after being elected as the common candidate, noting that he allowed the prime minister to exercise powers of the executive and did not interfere in the unity government led by the PM.

After the speech, he left for his office room.

PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and several senior ministers went there to bring him back to the cabinet meeting.

President was criticized by UNP MPs

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The president named UNP’s Harin Fernando, Sujeewa Senasinghe, Chaminda Wijesiri and S.M. Marikkar and strongly criticized them.

At a meeting, Marikkar described the president as a ‘pickpocket president’ and accused him of trying to ruin his party.

An MP who criticized the president has told BBC Sandeshaya that they had a right to do so, whereas the SLFP ministers were critical of Wickremesinghe, their leader and prime minister.

President Sirisena also objected to the decisions taken without his knowledge, including the removal of the ban on women from buying alcohol.

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