Special cabinet meeting held on PM's request : President Sirisena

21 September 2019 - 286   - 0

President Maithripala Sirisena today (Sept 21) rejected Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's claims that this week's cabinet meeting on abolishing the executive presidency, had been convened upon the President's request.

Speaking at the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)'s rally in Matale, the President said the cabinet meeting had been convened upon the request of the Prime Minister.

Mr Sirisena said that abolishing the executive presidency had always been part of his political policy, and added that discussing it just prior to the elections “is a joke”.

He accused the Parliament of delaying attempts to implement this policy, which had been one of the key election promises of the government during the presidential polls in 2015.

This week's special cabinet meeting had ended inconclusively after a majority of ministers had opined that dicussing such a matter was unacceptable since the date of the presidential elections had already been announced.

Meanwhile, the President also said that he had not requested to bar the media from attending his testimony before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday attacks.

“I had made all arrangements to allow the media to cover the entire session. However, it was the PSC which advised me against it,” he said.

Commenting on his testimony, Mr. Sirisena said that he had provided all relevant information concerning the terrorist attacks to the parliamentary panel, since he had “nothing to hide”, as he was acting on his own discretion.

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