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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2646

Here’s how Sri Lanka President and Mahinda R’s ‘113 October Revolution’ was blown-up

Sri Lanka’s President Sirisena promised 113 MP majority strength for purported PM Rajapaksa, just before he appointed Rajapaksa as PM on 26 October. Boosted by this assurance, Rajapaksa MP had no qualms on accepting the Premiership offer.

But neither of them foresaw the unexpected sequence of events that would unfold as a result of things falling apart since October 26-thanks largely to a brother of PM Rajapaksa himself as well as sudden escalation in the price tag of MPs.

On the night of 30 November, during his private meeting with Wimal Weerawansa MP and Udaya Gammanpila MP-two of PM Rajapaksa’s outspoken MPs of SLPP- President Sirisena reportedly lashed out at them for pointing their accusative fingers at him for failing to collect the 113 MP majority that he promised to PM Rajapaksa on 26 October.

Said President Sirisena: “In his personal discussions with his MPs nowadays, Mahinda Rajapaksa is privately and wrongly accusing me that I failed to collect and give him the “113 MP majority” that I promised him. But it was actually (Mahinda’s brother) Basil Rajapaksa who blocked my hard work to finalise the 113 MP majority needed for Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Using Eastern Province Governor Rohita Bogollagama and Hisbullah MP, I managed to get four Muslim MPs to agree to join our side. The Muslim MPs were ready and waiting to join us.

Thereafter against my will, Basil forced me to release them and not to take them. With greatest disappointment, I had to let them go. If these four Muslim MPs joined us at that time, many UNP MPs too would have followed them and joined us, and we could have collected the two-thirds majority, opening the door for us to rule the country for another 20 years. But that failed.

Basil was tricked by Rishad Bathiudeen MP to go this way. After all, at that time I already got a Muslim MP to take oaths as a Deputy Minister. Given this background, it is wrong and unreasonable for Mahinda Rajapaksa to privately accuse me in his pocket meetings that I did not make an effort to collect and give him the 113 MP-majority that I promised him.”

Further complicating the 113 majority making was the asking price of MPs continued to escalate unexpectedly – from Rs 300 Million (US $ 1.6 Mn) to 500 Million (US $ 2.7 Mn).

President Sirisena himself revealed this-In an interview with Daily Mirror , he revealed that Rajapaksa failed to gather 113 members of Parliament in his support and was, therefore, unable to show a clear majority adding that “the main reason for Rajapaksa's defeat was a hefty amount demanded by the Parliamentarians which the former failed to pay. I heard some bargained themselves for sums as high as Rs 500 million. Mahinda Rajapaksa could not gather the majority because of such high price tags quoted by the MPs, if not for that, he could have gotten the majority," the President said.

- Asian Tribune

Here’s how Sri Lanka President and Mahinda R’s ‘113 October Revolution’ was blown-up
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