COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who met here on Wednesday to iron out differences between them, are unlikely to meet again because the differences are too wide to be bridged, an informed source in the Sirisena camp told Express.
"At one point, when Rajapaksa threatened to walk out of the talks, Sirisena said he could walk out if he wanted to", the source said.
"Sirisena's going for the talks has created a very bad impression about him.Further talks will not take place," the source said.
Sirisena and Rajapaksa head two factions of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).Tuesday's meeting was meant to bring about "unity" in the party ahead of the forthcoming parliamentary elections so that the the United National Party (UNP) is defeated.
Rajapaksa wants to be named the Prime Ministerial candidate and the cases against his loyalists to be withdrawn.Rajapaksa also wants Sirisena to break with the United National Party (UNP) with which Sirisena is now running a coalition government.
But Sirisena is against naming anybody as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the SLFP as there is no tradition in the SLFP of naming anybody as its PM candidate. He also made it clear to Rajapaksa that the cases and investigations would be carried out as per law.He would not interfere.
Presently Rajapaksa's brother and former Minister Basil Rajapaksa is in remand, albeit in a hospital bed.There is also an investigation into how an armyman designated to give Rajapaksa protection, was found with a 9 mm pistol in a public meeting being addressed by Sirisena.An assasination bid is suspected.
Rajapaksa's other brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and his Secretary, Lalith Weeratunga, are also under investigation.The CID is investgating Rajapaksa himself.
The Rajapaksa faction wants the Financial Investigation branch of the CID to be wound up because its creation did not have the President's approval.
But Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told the media on Monday that the said unit was set up with cabinet approval (the President is the head of the cabinet).Samaraweera also said that setting up such a unit was in Srisena's Presidential election manifesto.