A meeting had taken place between United National Party (UNP) Leader, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and UNP Deputy Leader, Minister Sajith Premadasa yesterday (6).

The meeting was a one to one closed door discussion that had taken place after the Prime Minister testified before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday attacks in parliament yesterday.

Sources from Temple Trees say that the discussion had focused on the formation of the proposed political alliance and the next presidential candidate backed by the party as well as the alliance.

During the discussion, Premadasa has informed Wickremesinghe that he was prepared to be the presidential candidate of the UNP and that he had the support of the party as well as other political parties and movements, sources from Temple Trees said.

However, the Prime Minister has dismissed Premadasa’s statement saying that a majority of the party’s parliamentary group as well as the Working Committee and the minority political parties supported him.

Hence the discussion on the presidential candidacy had ended inconclusive with the intention of resuming on a later date.

Meanwhile, The Leader learns that steps have been taken to send a signed letter to the UNP leadership calling on him to convene the party’s parliamentary group and the Working Committee for a joint meeting to discuss and finalize the issue of the party’s presidential candidate.

Unanimous decision

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) parliamentary group that met under the patronage of party leader, President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday (6) has unanimously decided not to attend the convention of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) that is to be held on Sunday (11) at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium.

SLFP General Secretary, MP Dayasiri Jayasekera said, “The SLFP parliamentary group met under the patronage of the President. Since discussions were still on going the SLFP parliamentary group decided not to participate in the SLPP convention on the 11th. This is a unanimous decision. What matters to use are the policies and not the individual, candidate or the party.”

Referring to the agreement reached between President Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa during their discussion on Monday (5), Jayasekera said, “We are still in the programme to put forward President Sirisena as our presidential candidate. That is how the SLFP would be strengthened. That is why we continue to make the request from the President. However, the final decision is vested with the President. We are unable to tell the media of the agreements reached between President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. However, they will be clear with the decisions that would be taken in the future.”

Details discussed between Sirisena and Rajapaksa are not yet clear.