We earlier reported that Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa instructed the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) to immediately form alliance with President Maithripala Sirisena without being panic over the President's public disclosure during the opening of the Nelum Kuluna Tower.
Strengthening our report, Basil Rajapaksa, national organizer to the SLPP, on Tuesday (17) told the media that proposition by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) to change the Pohottu symbol upon the upcoming Polls would not be passed unheard.
Currently, the coalition talks between the two parties have been collapsed. On surface, a reason, in which the SLPP disagrees with the proposition to change the election symbol, has been magnified to justify the collapse.
Shape-shifting over being exposed
However, the real reason, as we also disclosed earlier, is because the President was hopeful for the prime ministry in the new government and the SLPP instead was planning to appoint him in an ineffective vice prime ministry.
The SLPP up until the day before yesterday was in a firm stance that the election symbol would in fact be the Pohottu symbol and not be changed under any circumstance. However, after the meeting held in the Election General Secretariat on Tuesday, Basil Rajapaksa told that the proposition to change symbol can be considered.
Apparently, the President's disclosure during the opening of the Nelum Kuluna Tower has shaken the SLPP. Mahinda Rajapaksa also instructed the SLPP not to fireback at the President over his disclosure of the Rs. 200 crores scam during his speech. Proving, Basil Rajapaksa, who had not denied the allegations, told media that such scam shall not be avoided and that he hopes the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) would conduct proper investigation on the matter.
Nonetheless, the SLPP supporters on grassroot level are being severely inconvenienced over the President's speech. They are being forced to justify the actions the previous government had committed for the rest of their lives. If the President had made this accusation in a different time, even Basil would have strongly denied.
It was Basil Rajapaksa who had strongly believed that the SLPP as a standalone party could win the elections without the help of the SLFP, despite many attempts of Gammanpila, Weerawansa to convince otherwise. The same Basil Rajapaksa apparently has stepped back over the shockwave the President has inflicted upon the party.
Mr. Ten Percent
President Sirisena in his speech told that a Chinese company undertaken the construction of the Nelum Kuluna Tower together with an advance of about Rs. 200 crores it was paid was disappeared. Speaking of which, disappearances reminisce of Gotabaya Rajapaksa's Ming deal. A company called Belimissa Holdings for which money was paid during the deal was disappeared with the address.
The total cost of the contract was then over Rs. 19 billion. Rounded 20, Rs. 200 crores would be exactly 10% of the cost that was lost. The most famous nickname associated with Basil Rajapaksa during the Rajapaksa rule was "Mr. Ten Percent."
On the other hand, if the presidential election is called in November, there are only two months remaining. There is much to do during that time. The President in particular has crushed the entire Rajapaksa symbol during his speech on the 16th; the total pride. Were the Rajapaksas' intention to remind the people of their crimes the minute they witness the glowing Nelum Kuluna Tower in the sky, the pride, despite the commitment, would have been sliced in half.
Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has a keen political sensitivity, did not instruct the SLPP to remain calm without reason. This was because the more they react, the more unwanted information would be at risk of getting out. On the other hand, such allegations being made during election heat would have been permanently carved onto people.