President's Veiled Threat To Ditch UNP: PM Says "It's All For Election" And Tells UNP To Focus On Their Own Campaign

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has assured his party associates in Badulla that President Maithripala Sirisena will proceed with the UNP-led coalition for the next two years. 

When asked about the President's remarks on ditching the UNP at a meeting attended by SLFP organisers last Friday, the Prime Minister has said, "It's all for the election." 

"What else can you say when you're running for an election with a party that is divided?" the Prime Minister has asked. He had also told the UNP activists to focus on their own election campaign, without thinking of the President's moves or the internal meetings of the SLFP.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe spent his Christmas holidays in Badulla where he met a large number of UNP supporters and activists. 

A highly placed source from the UNP told Asian Mirror that in their assessment, the SLFP led by President Sirisena might have to compete with the JVP for the third place at the Local Government election. 

"In all probability, the SLFP will come third in many districts. In that context, it's only a pipe dream to ditch the UNP and form a government," he added. 

"But, we understand the President's situation and we know he has to keep the spirits high in his own camp. So, we don't take this remark very seriously," the source further said. 

At the same meeting, President Sirisena said he would appoint a new commission to probe into SriLankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka which ran into heavy losses during the past few years.

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