The meeting between former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and several Chief Ministers yesterday ended inconclusively. It is reported that there was a heated verbal exchange between the Chief Ministers and the former President during the meeting.
Six out of seven Chief Ministers who are members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) took part in the meeting while Peshala Jayarathna was a notable absentee. Although the meeting ended without an agreement being reached, Rajapaksa told reporters present at his residence, where the meeting took place, that he was able to understand the views of the representatives.
A number of SLFP members from the Rajapaksa faction, including Prof. G.L Peiris, Bandula Gunawardena, Gamini Lokuge, Johnston Fernando and Prasanna Ranatunga, also attended the meeting with the former president. The Chief Ministers called for the meeting to seek Rajapaksa’s support for the SLFP at the next Local Government elections. As Chairman of the SLFP, President Maithripala Sirisena granted permission for the Chief Ministers to attend the meeting.