Sirisena, the 'common candidate' of a large anti-Rajapaksa alliance, became the president on January beating Rajapaksa (File Photo)
Sirisena-Rajapaksa combination: chinese puzzle of Sri Lankan politics
(NIDAHASA News) Sri Lankan political landscape is becoming a Chinese puzzle after President Maithripala Sirisena's United People Freedom Alliance's (UPFAA) decision to grand nomination for ousted president Mahinda Rajapaksa in upcoming general election.
Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), one of main allies of Sirisena in his presidential run, announced that they are leaving UPFA to contest separately.
A decade long Rajapaksa regime was overthrown by Sirisena in January's presidential election. Sirisena contested the election as the 'common candidate' of a large coalition of political parties and civil groups who bid to end the Rajapaksa rule. Then-opposition United National Party was the main voter base for Sirisena's victory.
Ruling United National Party (UNP) officially maintains a silence over nomination scandal of their main rival. "We are not interested about nominations of other parties. Let people decide on whom they want to elect." UNP leader said on his tweeter account.
The ground level of UNP however is clearly destructed by unexpected "betrayal" of president Sirisena.
"If president Sirisena joins hands with Rajapaksa, it would make politics of this country nothing but a big lie." told Uva Province Chief Minister (UNP) Harin Fernando. "If it happens, i will say leave politics for good."
Sirisena did not publicly acknowledged or denied his general secretary's announcement about granting nominations for 69-year-old former president. However, addressing a public rally, he promised not to revoke ‘silent revolution’ carried out in January's presidential election.
"I did not enter politics randomly or abruptly – my experiences in politics spans close to 49 years." Sirisena said. "I will not let any party decision tarnish or harm the transformations that occurred in this country after January 8 – I will protect it.”
Meanwhile some reports claim that President is planning form an alliance with UNP and former president Chandrika Kumarathunga against Rajapaksa. According to those reports, Sirisena-Ranil-Chandrika group will contest the election as an alliance with the "Swan" as the symbol- their symbol for the Presidential election. Some other reports say that Sirisena's Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) is considering a breakaway from UPFA.
Rajapaksa, who loose January election by around 500,000 votes still remain popular among majority Sinhala Buddhists, specially in rural areas and stands a good chance in August election if backed by a SLFP-led coalition.