The Tamil National Alliance leader, R Sampanthan met with Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning, despite the ongoing political turmoil triggered by the latter's appointment as prime minister of Sri Lanka on Friday following the sacking of Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The TNA was a staunch supporter of the unity government and in 2015 pushed Tamil voters to vote for Sirisena in a bid to oust Rajapaksa, the then president.
Despite this seeming support however, Sampanthan lost no time to meet with the Rajapaksa, who is accused of overseeing the mass killing of Tamil people during the final stages of the armed conflict in 2009.
Responding to criticism of the meeting, the TNA has released the following statement:
Mr. R. Sampanthan Member of Parliament, Leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on the
request of Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksha met him this morning at his residence at Wijerama Mawatha
Mr Sampanthan did not meet Mr Mahinda Rajapaksha in any other capacity. No matter was
discussed at this meeting pertaining to the post of Leader of the Opposition. Any statement to
that effect is deliberately false.
Speaking to reporters, the TNA spokesperson M A Sumanthiran said the TNA saw Rajapaksa's appointment as unconstitutional and Sampanthan had refused to meet Rajapaksa as a prime minister but only agreed as an MP.