Ranil Wickremesinghe says that there were hardly any takers from among UNP MPs, for the ‘offers’ made by newly appointed PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, to lure them into his camp.
Addressing the Foreign Correspondents Association at Temple Trees in Colombo, yesterday, Wickremesinghe flanked by parliamentarians Rajitha Senaratne, Patali Champika Ranawaka, Mangala Samaraweera and Sagala Ratnayake said that ‘offers’ had been received, but the response was very poor.
Asked what the going price was, Wickremesinghe smiled. Mangla Samaraweera MP interjecting, said that it could be called the fluctuating Maximum Retail Price or Mahinda Rajapaksa Price.
Wickremesinghe refuted reports of him having called for UN Peace Keeping Force intervention, to resolve the constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka. “I have only summoned the UNP Peace Keeping Force.”
Asked about allegations that China was funding Rajapaksa’s attempts to buy over UNP MPs, he said that the Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan had assured that his country would not interfere in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka. “The Ambassador who met both Mahinda and me, explained that he was only trying to ascertain the current political situation.”
President Maithripala Sirisena issued gazette notices last week, removing Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister and replacing him with Mahinda Rajapaksa. Wickremesinghe has described the President’s actions as illegal and in violation of Article 42 (4) of the Constitution.