President Maithripala Sirisena has asked the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) MPs of the Joint Opposition (JO) not to take part in the Pada Yathra (protest march) against the government on 28 July, Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training, Mahinda Samarasinghe said.
Samarasinghe denied media reports, quoting MP Prasanna Ranatunga, that the President has told SLFP MPs of the JO that it is ok for them to take part in the protest march. The reports also stated that Sirisena told the MPs that they can protest against the government, but not against the SLFP.
"This is a blatant lie. The President opposed any SLFP MP from taking part in any protest against the government. The President wants the government to last and he does not want anyone to undermine it," he said.
Samarasinghe added that the central committee of the SLFP will decide whether to take action against SLFP MPs who will take part in the protest march.
"The JO is saying that they are protesting against a diabolical new Constitution. But unlike the constitutional amendments made during the Rajapaksa era, we consulted everyone for this amendment," he said.