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* Former president vows to topple the Sri Lankan government in 2017
Thu, Dec 29, 2016, 09:47 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 29, Colombo: Former president of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa has vowed to topple the unity government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in the next year.

Participating in a discussion with the Foreign Correspondents Association in Colombo, Kurunegala District Parliamentarian said his goal is to topple the current government in 2017, BBC Sandeshaya reported.

"Even though the government has a two-third majority in parliament now, considering the current political situation, everything can be changed in the future," Rajapaksa said.

He said there is friction between the two parties of the unity government, the United National Party and the Sri Lanka Freedom party and a country cannot go forward when there are clashes like this within the government.

When a journalist pointed out that under the 19th amendment to the Constitution he cannot become the president again without a constitutional amendment, the former president said he has no intention to become the country's head of state again.

"I can rule the country without becoming the head of the state," he was quoted as saying.

When questioned whether he can work under President Maithripala Sirisena if appointed as the prime minister, Rajapaksa said if Ranil Wickremesinghe can do the job he can work with someone who is well-known to him since 1970.

However, if that situation arises, it will be under his conditions, the former president stressed.

He also rejected the notion that the UNP will take the advantage if SLFP splits and contests separately at the Local Government polls. There will be a sizable number of UNP supporters who will not vote, since they are unhappy at the state of the country, Rajapaksa also said.

Expressing views on Chinese investments in Hambantota, the former president said he emphatically disagree with the decision to transfer 15,000 acres of land to China.

Rajapaksa said he informed his view to the relevant Chinese company and during his tenure, he agreed to give 750 acres to China.

Speaking about his defeat in 2015, the former president said he could not face the campaign orchestrated with the help of the United States, India and its RAW intelligence agency against him and the scheme was in the making since 2011.

 


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