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Sri Lanka Equity Forum » Stock Market Talk » Sri Lanka President battles to keep coalition, ultimatum backfires

Sri Lanka President battles to keep coalition, ultimatum backfires

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DS Wijesinghe

Manager - Equity Analytics
Manager - Equity Analytics

ECONOMYNEXT -  President Maithripala Sirisena returned from a state visit to Bangladesh yesterday to grapple with a new threat of defections  that could lead to a break-up of his shaky coalition government.

A week after issuing an ultimatum to two ministers to deliver or depart,  the President himself has been put on notice by his own Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) which wants him to dissolve the coalition or face a mass exodus.

At a meeting just before leaving for Bangladesh on his three-day state visit, several seniors of the SLFP said they wanted to leave the coalition ahead of local elections later this year unless the President formed an SLFP government before that.

“It was a very heated meeting, and the president said he will discuss this issue on his return from Bangladesh,” a ministerial source at the discussion said. “He does not appear to have many options.”

The SLFP and its allies won 94 seats at the August 2015 elections and the group is deeply split between those loyal to Sirisena and former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Even if there is a complete rapprochement between Sirisena and Rajapaksa, they need 19 more MPs to cross the half-way mark in the 225-member parliament and enjoy a majority.

With no other likely candidates to bank on, the unlikely Sirisena-Rajapaksa combine will have to engineer defections from the UNP, a difficult ask despite there being dissatisfied elements within the green party.

An SLFP ministerial source said the President’s July 4 warning to two UNP ministers – Sagala Ratnayake and Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe – to clean up their act within three months had emboldened some SLFP senior to call for action to dismiss the entire UNP government.

They want Sirisena to do to the UNP what president Chandrika Kumaratunga did to Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNP-led cohabitation government in 2004. Kumaratunga sacked Wickremesinghe’s government just two years into its six-year term and called fresh elections which she won with the support of the JVP.

However, under the 19th amendment to the constitution, President Sirisena cannot dismiss the current parliament until early 2020. Kumaratunga had come to power with her own mandate unlike Sirisena who was propelled largely through UNP votes.

More than a dozen SLFP ministers and deputies have already said they will leave when the two-year national unity government memorandum of understanding ends in September. However, should they carry out their threat, there is no immediate danger to the administration.

The coalition could break up, but the UNP-led government could end up in a stronger position as it will no longer have to balance its economic agenda to appease the ideologically different SLFP.

However, the downside would be the lack of two-thirds majority to push constitutional reforms.  

Unlike the SLFP, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s UNP, which commands 107 seats in parliament, requires only six more MP’s to ensure an absolute majority. They may be able to tap into the JVP which has six seats and the Tamil National Alliance which has 16.

SLFP sources said their MPs in government were preparing to field their candidates at upcoming local elections, including three provincial councils which must go to the polls by the end of this year.

Not all those who want to defect from the government want to hitch their wagon to the Rajapaksa-led joint opposition either. An SLFP stalwart from Sabaragamuwa said he preferred to remain neutral rather than be seen as supporting the Joint Opposition whose leaders are being hauled up for major corruption.


Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Individual cherished desires are the priority over consensus, opinion reached by a group as a whole.


Manager - Equity Analytics
Manager - Equity Analytics
Kept it very late to leave as usual. The foolish electorate will still buy it and vote

As someone said
An illiterate electorate and corrupt politicians are a recipe for disaster, which is exactly what's happening in this country over the last 30 years


Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
I do not think Basil and crowd will come again

Ranil want to split SLFP by supporting Basil and other corrupt politicians

If Ranil do not take action against corrupt people of Joiny Opposition all SLFP people will get together Sent Ranil in to jail

As we all know only sound investigation is Bond Issue

Ihe Report will out before Local govt election

Ranil and UNP will not have anything to tell people during the election

SLFP ! Joint Opposition and Govt group will take up bond issue with concrete Evidence

Last edited by D.G.Dayaratne on Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:31 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typing mistake)


Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Probe on bond issue has become the crucial factor for oncoming election. Ranil & UNP stalwarts should regain the lost glory by extending direct or indirect support in favor of Mahendran family.
However, it is common belief that Ranil's continuous attempt to protect both SLFP & UNP thieves.


Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Ranil's strategy is not correct

He should take immediate action against corruption of previous govt and present govt Specialty previous govt

Otherwise he will dig his own grave

What said about mahinda in previos ocation became 100% truth
 1 Sriyani Badanayake Case is biggest political blunder of MR

  2Premature Prsidenta Eletio was Second Political Blunder of MR

Pl see my posting at that time

If Ranil did not take action against corruption that will be another big  political blunder of Ranil


Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
no one will leave the govt ! everyone is benefited ! just drama to fool the poor people


100℅ going confirmed. You will see it on correct time. That's the reason for market slow down.


Manager - Equity Analytics
Manager - Equity Analytics
Wijedasa and sagala are not alone, Mangala Samaraweera- cunning fatass and the hora fatass- ravi k have three other friends, two more fatasses including Malik samarawickrama who are destined to destroy the UNP and our country. Slfp members loyalists to the President will have a great chance if they could attract some jumbos to the blue party!

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