He said the SLFP held discussions with a number of political parties including the United National Party on working together towards a common course. He made these remarks addressing a press conference at the New Town Hall in Colombo a short while ago.
Minister Sirisena extended his gratitude to UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Executive Committee of the party for selecting a member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party as its presidential candidate.
“The country is heading towards a ‘graceful dictatorship’. Elections are being held, roads are being constructed, development projects are taking place, but the country is heading towards dictatorship. One family has captured everything and controlling the whole nation. This has to stop” Minister Sirisena asserted.
He also pledged to abolish Executive Presidency within 100 days.
“As the Minister of Health, I had to face many challenges. I could not implement the national drug policy. The move to carry pictorial warnings on packets of cigarettes was hindered. Who did all this? I think, the people should know,” Maithripala said with tears welling up in his eyes.
He also vowed to appoint UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister under his rule.
Minister Rajitha Senaratne, addressing the same press conference, said this was not a personal battle against anyone.
“We are against the system: we are trying to change the system. We will also change the electoral system of the country and bring back the old system,” Senaratne said.
“We need to appoint Maithripala Sirisena as the leader of the nation. He is a decent politician and a non-violent man, just like the late Bandaranaike. We will have another press conference under the auspices of the new President after 100 days and announce the abolition of Executive Presidency,” Senaratne added.
He apologized to the country for voting in favour of the 18th amendment. “Please forgive us.., forgive us for voting for that” Senaratne pleaded.
In addition to Minister Sirisena, former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Minister Rajitha Senaratne, Minister Duminda Dissanayake, Deputy Minister M.K.D.S. Gunawardena and Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha are also present at the press conference.