In yet another dramatic political development, President Mahinda Rajapaksa gave the green light for a National Government last Friday, an idea mooted by some senior UNP members.
A senior UNP politician representing the Kurunegala district had proposed the move to an erstwhile colleague who became a government minister in January.
The senior UNP politician had told the Minister there was no clear-cut approach adopted by the two major parties to resolve the national question, and that therefore they should make a fresh attempt at a solution. He had also requested the UNP reformist-turned Minister to work out necessary arrangements to strike a deal with the President in this endeavour.
In reply, the Minister had said he was also a fresher to the government and therefore he could take up the matter with Mr. Rajapaksa only if there was consent from the UNP hierarchy for such a proposal.
`I told the politician concerned to make the move with the consent of the UNP hierarchy. Then only, I can discuss it officially with the President,` he told the Daily Mirror yesterday.
Meanwhile, the President conveyed his willingness to form a National Government at a meeting he had last Friday with a minister who crossed over to the government from the UNP in January. Mr. Rajapaksa had requested the minister to convey his willingness to the UNPers who first mooted the idea.
The ruling SLFP signed an MoU with the main opposition UNP last year to make a combined effort to resolve major problems confronting the nation today. However, the Opposition withdrew from it a few months later, following the crossover of 18 UNPers to the government.
Asked to comment on the new development, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said the party had not yet received any official invitation from the government for such a move. Mr. Attanayake said he was totally in the dark about the matter, and therefore he was unable to comment on it.