The industries and commerce minister had a secret discussion with Basil Rajapaksa recently and told him that he could join the joint opposition along with 12 MPs if each is given Rs. 250 million. Basil has agreed to that.
As the first step, the two sides agreed to prevent a two-third passage of the provincial councils elections (amendment) act that was passed in parliament a few days ago. Risath and his group promised Basil that they would not support its passage. Coming to know about it on the morning of the day of the vote, health minister Rajitha Senaratne telephoned the president, who was overseas and summoned Risath for a meeting.
Rajitha stressed there that no one would be allowed to topple the government that was created under his leadership, and told Risath that it was deplorable that he was going to sell his Muslim identity in that manner, and inquired if there was any minister other than him who worked for the well-being of the Muslims. He also recalled that Risath joined the struggle to make Maithripala Sirisena the president only at the last moment, and said that he was aware of the game he was planning with Basil. The might of Rajitha’s speech overwhelmed the conspiracy for the present.
Despite his promise to Basil, Risath had still been trying to lure Muslim and other MPs, and is now not answering his calls, reports say. The two sides decided to halt their plans for now, and the get to work when an opportunity arises, according to persons who act as their intermediaries. State intelligence too, is keeping a close watch on this.