Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday that he was still in the saddle, but former President Mahinda Rajapaksa could please himself by doing what he wanted in his (Wickremesinghe’s) absence.
Speaking in lighter vein during a function at Temple Trees yesterday morning, to ring in the New Year, the Premier, who was in high spirits said ” I am going to Switzerland later this month. Mahinda can do what he wants then, while keeping in mind that I am still the Prime Minister.”
Wickremesinghe said that the national unity government headed by President Maithripala Sirisena would go on and achieve its goals.
Rajapaksa on Sunday predicted that this year would see a change of government and hinted at taking over as Prime Minister.
Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that Mahinda was dreaming of capturing power having misinterpreted certain recent developments.
The President and Prime Minister were focussed on fulfilling their pledges, he emphasised, adding that the Executive Presidency will be abolished as promised . “Mahinda is imagining things .Its wishful thinking, that he would be Premier again.”
Senaratne said that there were bound to be problems in any coalition government, but the fact that long time rivals the UNP and SLFP were working together in an historic partnership was an unprecedented achievement in itself.
The seniors on both sides were mature enough to keep the National Unity Administration in tact , despite the occassional hiccups, which was nothing to be unusually alarmed about, he added.
President Maithripala Sirisena and Premier Wickremesinghe are scheduled to jointly lay the foundation for the first Volkswagen factory in Sri Lanka, at Kuliyapitiya today.It comes after discussions that dragged on over a long period.
Kurunegala District MP Nalin Bandara said that legislation such as the proposed Develoment Act, would be able to fast track high profile projects such as the Volkswagen Plant and other big ventures that were in the pipeline.