Cordial Late Night Talks Between Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe Result in Agreement Being Reached Over Future of Coalition Govt Unity and Re-shuffle of Cabinet Ministers
Even as both the UNP and SLFP engaged in major political grandstanding that cast serious doubt on the fate of the Unity Government, President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe met again for late night talks yesterday.
The two leaders discussed the future of the ruling coalition and basic agreement had been reached on the continuation of the unity Government and a cabinet reshuffle in the near future, highly placed sources told Daily FT.
No further details were immediately available, but the meeting between the two leaders had been cordial, the sources said, even as rumbles within the UNP-SLFP coalition grew and a split seemed imminent last evening.
By Dharisha Bastians
In a tit-for-tat move, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)-led UPFA threatened to oust Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and form its own Government, under the premiership of senior party man and current Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva yesterday, as the ruling coalition plunged deeper into crisis and disarray.
The new political moves were set in motion after UNP Cabinet ministers, who convened at the official residence of the President with Prime Minister Wickremesinghe on Tuesday (13 February) night, told President Maithripala Sirisena that they were willing to govern independently and show the party’s strength in Parliament.
The threat reportedly angered President Sirisena, who commanded SLFP Ministers to begin exploring options to show a majority in Parliament during discussions after the weekly Cabinet meeting, under the leadership of Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva. The President told SLFP ministers that he would give them two days to muster the numbers, highly placed sources told Daily FT.
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