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Rajapaksa meets with Sirisena and calls for cutting of ties with UNP

Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa met with current president and former political rival Maithripala Sirisena earlier this week, as reports over a possible coalition between the two continue.

Sirisena, the current leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SFLP), ran against Rajapaksa for president in 2015, entering a coalition with the United National Party (UNP). The coalition has been losing electoral ground to Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka People’s Party (SLPP), which swept local elections in the Sinhala south earlier this year.

Reports suggest that Sirisena and Rajapaksa are now looking to work together ahead of presidential elections on the island next year. 

However Rajapaksa told reporters that he would not enter any deal with Sirisena, as long as they were with the UNP.

"It is time that the SLFP stop propping up government," Rajapaksa told reporters, adding that "We will not join in any alliance with UNP as a partner".