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Rajapaksa day dreaming that he is SLFP President: SB

Minster S. B. Dissanayake exhibiting the picture of the SLFP Annual Convention held in Polonnaruwa, where Party Patron former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Party Leader President Maithripala Sirisena sitting together. Picture by Halloluwa

Social Empowerment and Welfare Minister S.B. Dissanayake said yesterday, that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who previously appeared at the SLFP Annual Convention held in Polonnaruwa as a Party Patron, while President Maithripala Sirisena chaired the Convention is now singing a different tune saying that he is still the SLFP President.

So, we have a doubt weather the former President has filed a Court case through someone who is against President Maithripala Sirisena for holding the Party leadership and now making various statements to prove and support the case.

The amendments former President Mahinda Rajapaksa brought to remove former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga from the Chairmanship of the SLFP, has resulted in himself being removed. He now pretends to have forgotten all these.

“According to Section 12 (2) of the Party Constitution, the Chairmanship of the party goes to President Sirisena without contest.

According to this section, a member of the party, when elected as President, automatically inherits the post of Chairman of the Party,” he said.

However, we wish to unify all factions of the SLFP for the 66th SLFP Anniversary scheduled to be held at the Campbell Park on the September 02 under the theme of 'Party Unity in the Right Direction.'

It was the former President himself who informed us after meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena in January 2005, that he hag given over the Party Presidency to President Maithripala Sirisena. Then the Central Committee of the SLFP unanimously decided to appoint President

Sirisena as its leader, while former Presidents Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga have been appointed as patrons of the SLFP.

Though he had agreed to hand over the leadership of the SLFP to President Maithripala Sirisena bowing to the demands of Party members after his defeat, he had now forgotten all such happenings.

He said both the UNP and the SLFP could not have a consensual agreement for a very long period. However, the strong unity in two parties was a great help to avert the big disaster and threats levelled from the International Community.

At present, there is a division within the party. The launch of a new political party by certain factions of the SLFP ahead of the next Local Government election, would weaken the SLFP further. Several factions with many powerful characters in the SLFP left the party on several occasions.

But they came back empty handed. If we wish to create a UPFA led government in 2020, we should all get-together to bring about unity in the party, especially in the context of the next local bodies’ elections. We want all factions to eschew petty politics and join hands to strengthen the SLFP.

Commenting on the removal of the Ministerial post of former Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, he said that President Sirisena tried his best to resolve the problem associated with the former Minster. The President had a discussion with the UNP leadership as well as the former Minster on several occasions. The former Minster was also dragged into the Hambantota issue for his escape.

The government has lost the confidence of the people due to its failure to nab corrupt people. The government had already lost public trust largely due to the bond scam. There are over 80 special cases being heard in Courts. We believe that some invisible hand was manipulating to prevent the speedy progress of these cases. Obstacles have now been removed, helping to speed up the Court process.