Most SLFPers wanted an SLFP Prez candidate - CBK

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) is an undemocratic and unlawful political manoeuvre for it was a political exercise executed against the aspirations of the majority of the party membership, former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga charged.

She made the above accusation against the SLFP Central Committee while addressing a large gathering of party members in Galle on Saturday. It had been organized by the Galle Faction of “Api Sri Lanka” (We are SLFPers) organization for the defence of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

“The Rajapaksas are trying to reinvent their usual authoritarian,undemocratic and currupt family rule in this country. We should not allow it.

We have to stop a tyrant from becoming the President of the country. If Gotabaya becomes the President, the freedom we enjoy today will be suppressed,” she added.

“Although there are many contenders in the present presidential race the most powerful and reliable opponent against Gotabaya is NDF Presidential Candidate Sajith Premadasa. Hence, I urge all our true SLFPers to vote for Sajith Premadasa at the forthcoming Presidential Election,” Kumaratunga insisted.

“There was a meeting of party electoral and district Organizers islandwide headed by President Maitripala Sirisena which had been arranged by the SLFP Headquarters on the directives of party General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara at President House recently. At the said meeting, the views of organizers over the proposed coalition with SLPP was sought.

Over 90% of the participants at the event vehemently opted to nominate a candidate from SLFP to contest the forthcoming Presidential Election,” Kumaratunga said.

“The participants were given three choices, such as, to support New Democratic Front (NDF) candidate Sajith Premadasa, or to support SLPP Gotabaya Rajapaksa or to put forward a candidate from SLFP in respect of the Presidential Election. Over 90% of the party leaders agreed upon to nominate the party’s own candidate and not become a political appendage of any other party,” former President Kumaratunga added.

Many who spoke at the said meeting also had supported and advocated for a party’s own Presidential candidate. However, some party leaders who suppressed the majority’s will had reserved the final decision to be taken at the Central Committee (CC) meeting. The few authoritarian party leaders who presently dominate the SLFP CC betraying the majority’s ambitions took a dictatorial decision to sign a MoU with the SLPP leadership whose main target is to destroy our beloved party,” Kumaratunga further charged.

“Nevertheless, the execution of the so called MoU was not transparent. The members of the party are quite unaware of the contents or the provisions of it. The said MoU is not available with the party membership. However, we learn that some of the provisions in the said agreement are completely detrimental to party’s regional leaders who aspire to contest at a future Parliamentary, Provincial Council or Local Government election. Particularly, Section 12 of the memorandum is extremely disadvantages for SLFP regional leaders in the process of selections for nominations at future elections,” Kumarantunga pointed out.

Former President Kumaratunga also said that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party was a long lived party which was fostered on the strong foundation of the Bandaranaike Vision of which the main feature was uprightness.

She said the SLFP is the political party which ruled the country for the longest period in Sri Lanka’s political history. In its history our party underwent many ups and downs. Although we suffered an appalling defeat again in 1977, under my leadership the party regained its lost glory in 1994. We established a corruption free dignified rule in the country. We took the country towards economic prosperity. We increased the public sector employees’ salary on five occasions during that era. We were able to increase the per capita income while spending on an ongoing civil war.

“During the era of the Rajapaksa rule the entire state administration was overwhelmed with theft and corruption. The political leaders of the state openly plundered national wealth and resources,” Kumratunga alleged.

“Had the Rajapaksas invested the national wealth they exploited for the good of the country, by now this country would have been transformed into an earthly heaven.After the war they did not carry out any project in the North and East except for the A9 road. After completely overlooking the needs of the Northern and Eastern Provinces, they are now shamelessly begging for the votes of Tamils and Muslims in those regions,” Former President Kumaratunga said.

For the last four years, Rajapaksa’s ambition was to destroy the SLFP and form a new party. At the end they formed their new Lotus Bud party. Its principal objective is to do away with our party. By joining with them the SLFP present leadership has dragged the party towards a political disaster.

In the past also many persons and fractions tried to destroy our party. But no one could do it. Even Rajapaksa’s will not be able to do it. We have to protect our party from these enemies of our party. Do not join any other party. Be patient and wait. We will not allow anyone to harm our party.Former Minister Kumara Welgama, former Southern Provincial Council Minister and SLFP Akmeemana Chief Organizer U.G.D. Ariayathilake, SLFP Karandeniya Co-chief Organizer Ramya Wijethunga and former SP Councilor and Rathgama SLFP Chief Organizer Amarasiri Kuruwage also spoke.

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