World Bulletin/News Desk
The new Sri Lankan government has on Thursday requested an investigation into an alleged last-minute coup attempt by the country's former president after he lost last week's elections.
Sri Lanka’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, filed a complaint with the Criminal Investigations Department. He told reporters outside their office that former president Mahinda Rajapaksa had convened with the Commander of the Army, Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General on the election eve to discuss ways to prevent the releasing of the electoral results and to pursue the possibility of remaining in office.
Rajapaksa was defeated by a margin of over 400,000 votes by his former ally and health minister Maithripala Sirisena.
Rajapaksa was hoping for a third term, something only made possible at the beginning of his second term when he altered the country's constitution to remove a two-term restriction on the presidency.
“Let the investigators do their job now,” Samaraweera said, adding that “President Rajapaksa’s attempt failed when the security forces refused to go along with his suggestion.”
However, on Tuesday, hours after two prominent government politicians alleged that the former president attempted to prevent the new president from being sworn in, Rajapaksa denied allegations of attempting to illegally stay in power.
“I deny in all possible terms reports of attempts to use the military to influence election results,” a tweet on Rajapaksa’s official Twitter account said. “I have always bowed down to the people’s verdict.”
Spokespersons for both the Police and the Army have said they were unaware of any such requests by the former president.
Speaking to The Anadolu Agency, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the former president had appealed to the Army Commander and the Inspector General of Police to help him stay on in power, which was not supported.
Senaratne quit the Rajapaksa administration a month ago to extend support to Sirisena, saying Rajapaksa's administration, which he described as dictatorial and corrupt, should not be supported to continue in office.
Last Mod: 15 Ocak 2015, 12:17