None of the Ministers or key figures in the government will participate in the first rally of the newly formed Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) on 27 January, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday.
Speaking to reporters at the Abhayarama temple yesterday, Rajapaksa said there were several Ministers and top level members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and United National Party (UNP) who had made preparations to be on the stage at the inaugural rally. However, Rajapaksa stressed that due to security concerns relating to their families, the SLPP decided to ask them not to participate in the rally.
"We decided to ask them not to participate in the rally mainly after hearing that MP WimalWeerawana's bail application was rejected today (24). This government now tries to silence us by holding a threat over the safety of our children," he added.
A Minister on January 23 warned of future danger to the safety of children of the Joint Opposition MPs and other allies of the SLPP, Rajapaksa added. It is true that the MPs who are determined to overthrow the government cannot be scared by such threats. But everyone has to think about the safety of their children, he said.
He added that anyone can join the SLPP. But at this moment the party requests ministers not to participate in the rally.