Sri Lankan crisis: Sirisena to reveal secrets in book

Colombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, who last month abruptly sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa, will write a book on his ‘unsuccessful political marriage’ with the ousted premier.

Sirisena’s controversial action on 26 October led to a political crisis in the country with both Wickremesinghe and Rajapaksa claiming to be the legitimate Prime Minister.

Wickremesinghe termed his dismissal as invalid and said he still held a majority in the 225-member Parliament.

Sirisena, addressing a public gathering Friday, said the book will be titled ‘My unsuccessful political marriage with Ranil’.

“I know that people are criticising me right now. I will tell them to wait until I release my book,” the President said. Sirisena claimed that despite his action, he had not been isolated.

Ranil Wickremesinghe

“I know that right thinking people are with me on this battle against the corrupt and the traitors,” he added.

Sirisena’s announcement came hours after Wickremesinghe’s alliance won control of a powerful panel in Parliament, dealing a major blow to him and his prime ministerial-appointee Rajapaksa.

Former president Rajapaksa, who ruled Sri Lanka for almost a decade, was unexpectedly defeated by his deputy, Sirisena, in the presidential election in January 2015 with support from Wickremesinghe’s United National Party.

However, the power-sharing arrangement between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe became increasingly tenuous on several policy matters, mainly economy and security.

President Maithripala Sirisena

The country is witnessing a political stalemate since Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe. Sirisena later dissolved Parliament, almost 20 months before its term was to end, and ordered snap elections.

The Supreme Court overturned Sirisena’s decision to dissolve Parliament and halted the preparations for snap polls.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya then ordered a floor test in the 225-member House to end the ongoing political crisis, a move which invited the wrath of the government of Rajapaksa.

The United National Front, led by Wickremesinghe, has already moved three motions of no trust against Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa, however, has refused to step down.