Former President hands over reins of SLFP to incumbent


By Dasun Edirisinghe

Former President yesterday officially handed over the party leadership to President Maithripala Sirisena.

Issuing a statement the former President Rajapaksa said that he had decided to hand over the leadership to stop the division of the party.

"With effect from today (16), I will be handing over the leadership of the SLFP to President Maithripala Sirisena. Having held membership and various offices including the Party leadership, and having nurtured and safeguarded the Party with great dedication for over 50 years, I am taking this decision as I have a great dislike to see the Sri Lanka Freedom Party face the danger of division," Rajapaksa said.

It was the responsibility of all who loved the Sri Lanka Freedom Party to ensure the unity of the Party,

which had helped protect and develop the motherland. Therefore, the new leadership, the Executive Committee and all officials of the party should steer it towards the welfare of not only the Party but the entire Nation as well.

"I believe that all of you will pay heed to your responsibility of ensuring the safety and security of all Party members as well as upholding democracy within the Party," the former President said.

Rajapaksa assured that he would strongly represent the wishes and aspirations of the more than 5.7 million members of the public who voted for him at the recent presidential election.

Former President met President Maithripala Sirisena at the official residence of Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa on Wednesday night and SLFP heavyweights led by former Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva met President Sirisena on Jan. 12 to discuss the modalities of handing of the reins of the SLFP and the future of the party.

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