Colombo, January 12: The former Sri Lankan government on Monday denied allegations of a coup attempt to remain in power. The new government had said that a special investigation would be launched into the alleged coup attempt by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa and former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa during the presidential election.
However, former exterl affairs minister G.L Peiris said that he was with the former president on election night and there was no attempt to grab power through a coup, Xinhua news agency reported. He said that Rajapaksa had stepped down gracefully after losing the election and this was appreciated by even US Secretary of State John Kerry, who had telephoned the former president.
Rajapaksa lost the election by a slim margin to his former health minister and opposition candidate Maithripala Sirise. A spokesman for Sirise, parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera, had said that pressure had been exerted on the police and army to prevent Maithripala Sirise from winning the election.
However Samaraweera said that the police and the army had refused to comply and the tion was grateful that they ensured a peaceful and free and fair election. He said that once the new cabinet was appointed, it has been decided that a special investigation would be launched and details of the attempted coup will be revealed to the public. (IANS)