President Rajapaksa has sent his greetings to United National Party Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe.
The President said he is satisfied that the leadership had been protected. During a meeting with Editors of the print and electronic media today, the President said that Mr. Wickremasinghe had 17 years of experience as a Party Leader and experience of facing elections for 18 occasions. Leadership cannot be grabbed. It should be achieved through a general consensus and the consensus of the party as well as the people. He said he was glad that Mr. Wickremasinghe had been able to safeguard the leadership.
Recalling that it was Ranil Wickremasinghe who remained directly with Ranasinghe Premadasa when a majority went against him, the President emphasised that as a result Mr. Premadasa was able to protect the leadership as well as the Presidency. He remarked that responsibility and gratitude were the criteria required to become a leader. In response to a query raised by a journalist whether he had fear on his political future if Sajith Premadasa assumed the leadership, President Rajapaksa said it was ludicrous to consider leadership for a person who had no capability of even winning a Pradeshiya Sabha.