Sri Lanka’s newly appointed president Ranil Wickremesinghe told Tamil National Alliance (TNA) lawmakers yesterday that he knew some of the parliamentarians had voted for him, despite the coalition announcing it was backing another candidate the night before the ballot.
In his first meeting with Tamil MPs, Wickremesinghe reportedly raised the issue of the vote which took place last month and was a secret ballot.
The TNA decision to back Dullas Alahapperuma caused controversy both within the alliance and throughout the North-East, with rumours that several lawmakers broke ranks and voted for Wickremesinghe instead.
With lawmakers voting in secret, the truth may never be known, but Wickremesinghe claimed to know that at least some TNA parliamentarians backed him instead.
During the meeting, the TNA reportedly put forward several requests including the release of Tamil political prisoners, halting the Sri Lankan military occupation of private land, the immediate repealing of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the implementation of UN Human Rights Council resolutions on accountability.
The demands were strikingly similar to those reportedly agreed with Alahapperuma, according to a report by the Tamil Guardian.