Rathana Thera Reveals Last Minute Attempt To Stay In Power: "Gota Looked Extremely Worried And Pensive"

Jathika Hela Urumaya stalwart Athuraliye Rathana Thera said that there was a last minute attempt by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family to remain in power with the support of the security forces.

Speaking in a TV program in Rupavahini, Rathana Thera praised the Elections Commissioner for conducting a free and fair election under immense pressure from the Rajapaksa family. He stated that the Election Commissioner should make a statement on the attempts of the former president to stay in power as well. JHU sources said Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa played a key role behind this attempt.

Sources from Temple Trees added that the Defence Secretary looked extremely pensive in the wee hours of Friday morning.

“Although the President seemed normal and calm about the transition of power, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa looked pensive and worried about the whole matter,” a strongman of the former government who was with the Rajapaksas on Thursday night told Asian Mirror.

“He didn’t speak to anyone. He was in utter shock,” the strongman added.

The Colombo Telegraph had earlier reported that the president was planning to issue emergency regulations and stay in power. However, according to the reports, the Attorney General had refused to act on behalf of the former president.

When asked about this by Asian Mirror last evening whether the Defence Secretary visited the Elections Department in the wee hour of Friday, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said it was an "utter lie" and nothing of that sort happened. 

We are yet to receive a response from the Attorney General over the incident related to emergency orders.

Meanwhile Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara told BBC Sandeshaya that a request to support the former president to stay in power was not made from the Cabinet. He said that as a member of the Cabinet of Ministers he was sure that such a request was not made by Rajapaksa.

BBC Sandeshaya also added that two close aides of Rajapaksa claimed that the former president did not want to stay in power. Meanwhile BBC Sandeshaya also said that even if a request was made from the security forces, it would have been refused.

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