Sajith claims Maithripala Sirisena offered him premiership on 71 occasions

Sajith Premadasa

Former President Maithripala Sirisena asked him 71 times to take up the post of Prime Minister during the Yahapalana administration, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa said at Nagoda on Monday (October 03).

“He approached me 10 times before 26 October 2018. He asked me 61 times the following year. I couldn’t oppose then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe because he had the support of the majority of MPs. Even President Gotabaya Rajapaksa asked me to take up the post. However, I don’t want to secure posts that way,” he said.

Premadasa said that only a person without scruples could take up posts in a Rajapaksa administration after supporting ‘Gota Go Home’ protests.

“You know there were such people in our party. Now, they can’t even mingle with people without heavy security. We will never welcome them again to the Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB),” he said.

The Opposition Leader added that there was a lot of pressure on him to become Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Prime Minister. However, if he had taken up that post, he would not be able to step out of the house, Premadasa said.

“I take decisions thinking ahead. Two of the SJB MPs insisted that I become PM. The two MPs wanted to make money,” he said.

Premadasa said that the decision to withdraw the Gazette, declaring new High Security Zones in Colombo, was the right thing to do.

“The government must stop this witch-hunt against anti-government protesters. Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) Convenor, Wasantha Mudalige’s life is in danger. He should be freed at once,” he said.

(Source: The Island – By Lalith Chaminda, S.K. Kaluarachchi and Ravindra Chandralal)