SLFP split again; 11 more pledge support to MS

MR, CBK to enter parliament through National List
Chief Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera does it again
Move to declare Sirisena SLFP Chairman thwarted



By Ranil Dharmasena and Anura Balasuriya


The SLFP leadership yesterday assured that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was firmly in control of the party after 11 Central Committee members of the party had switched their allegiance to President Maithripala Sirisena.


The defecting group comprised members of parliament, Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Reginald Cooray, Vijith Vijithamuni Soysa, Jagath Pushpakumara, S.B. Navinna, Nilwala Wijesinghe, Piyasena Gamage, Athavuda Seneviratne and Janaka Bandara Tennakoon and Chief Minister of the North Western province Dayasiri Jayasekera.


Addressing the media in Colombo, the rebel group declared that President Sirisena as the Chairman of the SLFP as he had commanded the support of majority of 53 members of the Central Committee. MP Duminda Dissanayake identified himself as the legitimate General Secretary of the SLFP, a claim strongly refuted by the other faction.


The move was made soon after the Central Committee at a special meeting held at SLFP headquarters, at T. B. Jayah Mawatha unanimously decided to request former President and Chairman of the party to enter Parliament through the National List. The Opposition also decided to appoint former president Chandrika Kumaratunga as a National List MP.


MP Dilan Perera made the proposal while MP Aluthgamage seconded it.Former President Rajapaksa joined UPFA General Secretary Susil Premjayantha, SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, former Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne and MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena and Nimal Siripala de Silva at yesterday’s media briefing at SLFP headquarters, where the SLFP declared the majority of CC members remained with the leader.


With yesterday’s defection of 10 MPs, the UPFA group in Parliament had been reduced to 117.


At the onset of the revolt in November, the UPFA group had 161 members.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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