“I blundered by calling Presidential elections ahead of schedule”, says Rajapakse
By Siva Sivapragasam
The Sri Lankan Parliament is witnessing scenes of uproar and chaos as a group of MPs are seated inside the well of the House preventing normal proceedings taking place.
The MPs who are supporters of former President Mahinda Rajapakse are protesting against a summons issued by the Bribery Commission Dept. to investigate allegations against Rajapakse on charges of bribery.
As the MPs rushed to the well of the House as a mark of protest and commenced a sit-in, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa adjourned the House when the 19th Constitutional Amendment Bill was expected to be taken up for discussion. According to reports in the local media, 55 Opposition MPs submitted a memorandum to President Maithripala Sirisena.
The former President had been issued the summons on the ground that Tissa Attanayake, who quit as general secretary of the United National Party (UNP) in December last and became Health Minister in the then Rajapaksa regime, was given the post on the eve of the Presidential election, which took place in January.
The Monday’s development has led to uncertainty over the passage of the Bill, which broadly envisages dilution of several powers of the office of President.
Meanwhile, former President admitted in a press interview that he blundered by calling Presidential elections earlier than schedule. (Presidential elections were held two years ahead of schedule).
He also accused the new government of spying on his family and said his own security chief and even his food taster had betrayed him.
Rajapaksa said his security unit headed by Senior DIG S. M. Wickramasinghe had been passing on information about his activities to political opponents in the run up to the January 8 election that he lost.
“The PSD and the head of the PSD has been (figuratively) cutting my neck (bella kapuwa),” Rajapakse said in an interview with the French news agency AFP. “Even my tea taster, the man who used to taste my meals, had also betrayed me.”
“I have now lost all hope on astrologers’, remarked Rajapakse who was a firm believer in Astrology.
When asked whether he had quit politics, Rajapakse answers “I have not retired. I am only taking a rest”.