Colombo, January 17 (Daily Mirror): Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, who walked out of the cabinet meeting on Tuesday after making a fiery and emotional speech against critics in the alliance partner ,the United National Party (UNP), said that he has only been attacking corruption and the corrupt and has had no interest in damaging the UNP.
In his 35 minute oration, heard with rapt attention by the cabinet, Sirisena made it clear that the country cannot be governed if such ill-informed, irresponsible and motivated charges are made and added that he is ready to quit “not tomorrow but today itself.”
He informed the Ministers present that the Presidential Commission on the Central Bank bond scam was established by him not to tarnish the image of the UNP, but to punish the thieves. He requested the Ministers to state whether they agreed to punishing the thieves or not.
The President, who arrived for the Cabinet meeting with a tape recorder, showed it to those present and said: ” Some may like to listen to my speech and some may not. But I will make this speech and those who want to listen to it can do so later”.
In his speech, Sirisena said: ” I left the former government showing my opposition to fraud and corruption, and formed a new government. Was it to continue the same frauds and corruption, I ask you. It is true that UNP supporters voted for me, and I owe my gratitude to them. Are UNP members attacking me to frighten me? Or to chase me out? I do not know whether they are doing these things with a purpose or others are leading them to do such things. ”
“I walked out that day (from the Mahinda Rajapaksa camp) ignoring the risks I would have to face. Therefore this type of criticisms are not something new to me. Some UNP members are going round saying that the Bond Commission was appointed in order to attack the UNP. I appointed the Bond Commission in order to probe the Bond scam. I have no personal issues with any one.”