Sri Lankan Prez Sirisena sacks key party men ahead of polls

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday sacked both his party secretaries amid ongoing tussle with his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa, days ahead of the parliamentary polls.

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 14, 2015, 18:30 PM IST

Colombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday sacked both his party secretaries amid ongoing tussle with his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa, days ahead of the parliamentary polls.

Anura Yapa, secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Susil Premjayantha, secretary of United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA), were sacked and replaced with Duminda Dissanayake and Wiswa Warnapala, SLFP sources said.

Having appointed by Sirisena, both Warnapala and Dissanayake obtained a court order restraining Yapa and Premjayantha acting as party secretaries.

The Colombo District Judge Harsha Setunga issued the restraining order and fixed the hearing for August 28.

Both Yapa and Premjayantha are Rajapaksa loyalists and have worked behind Sirisena's back to bring the former president back into contest as the prime ministerial candidate of the UPFA.

The action followed yesterday's letter by Sirisena to Rajapaksa in which the SLFP chief had vowed that Rajapaksa will not be made the Prime Minister even if his party won Monday's parliamentary election.

Rajapaksa, who was the president twice since 2005 and is credited for ending country's three-decade-old civil-war with LTTE, has taken an unprecedented step of running for parliament after enjoying two terms as president.

Sirisena was Rajapaksa's Health Minister until he came forward as the opposition unity candidate to challenge the then president last year.

He faced immediate sacking from the party only to be handed the party leadership when he defeated Rajapaksa in the January presidential election.

The SLFP is a main constituent party in the UPFA coalition.