Sept 23, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today met with the newly elected provincial councilors of North Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces at the Temple Trees.
The President is reportedly expected to mediate a solution to the crisis erupted over the appointment of the Chief Minister for the North Central Province.
The former ruling party Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake insists that he should be the Chief Minister despite that S. M. Ranjith, the brother of Wildlife and Agrarian Services Minister S. M. Chandrasena, has received the received the highest number of preferential votes than former Chief Minister.
Minister Chandrasena has even resigned from his ministerial portfolio to pave the way for his brother to become the Chief Minister, since the ruling party has announced earlier that it will not give significant posts to members of the same family.
Ruling party sources say discussions are continuing to resolve the issue with the mediation of the President.
A committee has also been appointed to further look into the dispute and the committee is expected to forward its recommendations to the President today.
However, the party leaders are expected to find a solution before the swearing-in of the chief ministers scheduled for Monday.
Political observers say a possible reappointment of Dissanayake, who held the post for three-consecutive terms since 1999, would be a blow to the democratic process Since Ranjith was the people's choice.
(Photos by Udesh Gunaratne)