President calls party leaders’ meeting today

By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema

President Maithripala Sirisena has summoned a meeting of parliamentary party leaders this evening at the Presidential Secretariat, The Sunday Morning learns.

The meeting has been scheduled for 5 p.m. today, and the decision to summon the meeting was made last evening.

When contacted by The Sunday Morning, several parliamentarians representing the United National Front (UNF) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said that they have been informed of the meeting.

UNF sources said that they were to have a discussion last night to decide on the matters to be raised at the meeting.

“The President’s office telephoned us at around 7 p.m. last night with regard to the meeting,” UNF sources said.

However, none of them were aware of the reason the President had summoned the meeting.
It is believed that the President is now trying to look at a solution to overcome the current political crisis through negotiation.

On Thursday, the United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that he is ready to submit a resolution to Parliament before the end of June next year, to call for early parliamentary elections.

Wickremesinghe told a group of journalists attached to the foreign media that the UNP will speak to other party leaders and look to reach a consensus on the date of the elections.

“I am sure we will be able to go before Parliament and present a resolution even before the first six months of next year. If you want elections, we are willing to immediately talk to the party leaders, and the resolution can be put in Parliament before the end of June,” he said.

He said that the Parliament must decide, and if it agrees, it can pass the resolution and go ahead.