Nov 05, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday defended his decision to dismiss the Prime Minister of the unity government Ranil Wickremesinghe and appoint former president Mahinda Rajapaksa to lead a United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government as a decision taken in the best interest of the people.
Addressing the 'Jana Mahimaya' political rally organized by UPFA and several political groups in support of the present government at the Parliamentary Roundabout today, President Sirisena said the appointment was made in accordance with the Constitution and within the legal framework of the country.
The President said he was forced to take the decision to free the general public from the Wickremesinghe government's economic vision that has burdened the people.
"What I changed wasn't two bodies on to a seat, but a policy that wasn't right for the country," the President said.
Severely criticizing the policies of the Wickremesinghe government, the President said the ones who took decisions regarding the country in the recent past were not the President or the Prime Minister, but a 'gang of butterflies' who were around Ranil Wickremesinghe.
"He forgot to solve people's problems, he entered in to a butterfly life. Government decisions were taken not by President or Prime Minister. They were taken by Ranil Wickremesinghe and his butterfly gang," the President said.
The President said he offered the premiership to both Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa, but both refused.
He said following the no confidence motion against the Prime Minister Wickremesinghe he offered the premiership to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya but he refused to go against Wickremesinghe.
President Sirisena said two months ago he invited UNP deputy leader MP Sajith Premadasa and explained that he cannot work with the Prime Minister and offered him the Prime Minister post but MP Premadasa also refused.
The President said he offered the position of Prime Minister to Mahinda Rajapaksa as he was the most suitable when he found out that he was unable to work with Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The President stated Parliament will be strengthened adding that the 113 majority has already been secured in Parliament.
The President said if there is a legal issue that needs to be resolved regarding his actions, the public can request the opinion from the Supreme Court.