New Govt Spokespersons Defend President's Seemingly Homophobic Remarks: Says Vijeya Kumaratunga Too Was Referred To As "Butterfly"

Spokespersons of the new government, Keheliya Rambukwella, and Mahinda Samarasinghe addressing their first official 'Cabinet briefing' defended President Maithripala Sirisena seemingly homophobic remarks, saying they had nothing to do with anyone's sexuality. 

Addressing a rally organized by the Joint Opposition on Monday, Sirisena said under Wickremesinghe's watch, affairs of the government were run by a gang of butterflies. The statement came under severe criticism on social media as it suggested a homophobic sexual innuendo. 

"The remark on butterflies had nothing to do with sexuality," Samarasinghe said. "Minister Rajitha Senaratne had accepted that he too was a 'butterfly' as he was involved in running the affairs of the government. What the President said was that they turned the government into a mess. 

"Butterly is an innocent animal," he said, adding that even popular film star Vijeya Kumaratunga was once referred to as a "butterfly". 

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