Sri Lanka’s unity government will come up with a new plan to identify its weaknesses and find suitable remedies for them, a senior minister has said, amid the ongoing tussle between the country’s president and the prime minister. A new programme and pact is being prepared by President Maithripala Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP).
The two parties and arch political foes have been in the government sharing cabinet positions since mid-2015. However, early this month, 16 from Sirisena’s party voted to remove Wickremesinghe as the prime minister. “By preparing a new program and a new pact we aim to be more people oriented during the government’s rest of the term,” senior minister Mahinda Amaraweera who is also the general secretary of SLFP’s broader front United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) said.
“We will be identifying the weaknesses in the unity government thus far and also remedies for them,” Amaraweera added. Amaraweera said with the new pact to be signed there will be no need for the 16 to join the government. Cracks appeared in the unity government since February 10 when former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s new party defeated both parties in the unity government by winning two-third of control of 340 local councils.
Sirisena immediately demanded Wickremesinghe’s resignation. He stood ground and that led to a motion of no confidence being moved against him. The premier convincingly won the motion defeating both Sirisena and Rajapaksa factions.