It was at the request of President Maithripala Sirisena, that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa took up the Premiership of Sri Lanka on Friday, sources close to Rajapaksa said.
The Rajapaksa group decided to accept the offer when it found that the President was very keen, the sources, which did not want to be identified, said.
Till a few days ago, Sirisena had been wavering. On the one hand, he was wanting to align with Rajapaksa to set up an United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government without any links with the United National Party (UNP) headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
But on the other hand, he was reluctant to accommodate Rajapaksa, his rival since 2015, when he had ditched Rajapaksa to become the candidate of the Wickremesinghe-led opposition in the Presidential election.
The choice for Sirisena thus between a rock and a hard place or the devil and the deep sea. He had serious issues with both.
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