President equally responsible during past 3 ½ years: UNP

The United National Party (UNP) said today that President Maithripala Sirisena should equally share the blame as the Head of State and the Head of the Government if there was any corruption during the past three and half years.

Issuing a statement, UNP Chairman MP Kabir Hashim said
President Sirisena, at a meeting with the Foreign Correspondents Association in Colombo had yet again tried to justify the illegal removal of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe by saying it was due to corruption.

The President said that a Presidential Commission of inquiry will be established to look into cases of corruption between January 2015 and October 2018.

“The Government that operated during this period was in no way 'A Ranil Wickremesinghe Government'. President Maithripala Sirisena who headed the National Unity Government was not only the Head of State but also the Head of Government. All decisions were made by a Cabinet chaired by the President. If there was corruption in the past 3 ½ years as the President says, the President has equally to share the blame.

We welcome the appointment of a Presidential Commission to look into this period and we also insist that President Sirisena is not made immune to the investigation himself.
Furthermore, the President is reported to have said that he will not appoint Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister in his lifetime even if legally proven that he commands the confidence of the majority in the house. This is yet another blatant violation of the fundamentals of Parliamentary Democracy. The President has no choice but to act within the framework of Constitutional Provisions and the Constitution does not make provisions for personal vendettas.

Finally, the United National Party would also like to remind President Sirisena that he has not been elected for a lifetime and that his term as President comes to an end in less than 12 months,” the statement said.