Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that the strength of the Joint Opposition will not decrease due to certain individuals leaving the coalition.
He stated that the reason certain members are leaving is because they are unable to share electorates.
“It is the same when (we are) in power and the same when in the opposition. Anyone is free to leave and anyone is free to come (join),” he said.
He made these remarks in response to questions from reporters, regarding certain politicians quitting the JO, after a meeting with the Mahanayaka of the Ramanna Maha Nikaya Most Venerable Napana Premasiri Thero at the Hurikaduwa Sri Widyasagara Piriven Mula Maha Viharaya today (11).
Rajapaksa further said that all the “thieves” who were in his government have gone to the incumbent government. “That is how it is, according to them.”
When asked about allegations of a “deal” between him and the Prime Minister, he said that this accusation is being made by those in the government who have actually made such deals.
“I have no deal with Ranil Wickremesinghe. I can’t make any deal because that is what we are saying; leave the government and Ranil and then we will accept,” he said.
“Who is responsible for selling state resources, delaying elections, the rising cost of living?”
Rajapaksa said that when the government claims that they have developed the country and achieved things no other government has managed to do, it reminds him of the “Emperor’s New Clothes”.
He stressed that the Joint Opposition has no problem with joining with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and that the only issue is with the government.