President Sirisena paving the way for Chandrika to be SLFP leader

To move amendment to SLFP Constitution


by Zacki Jabbar

President Maithripala Sirisena, who was installed as the new Chairman of the SLFP last Friday, is to propose an amendment to the party Constitution shortly paving the way for Ex-President Chandrika Kumaratunga to become the SLFP leader, SLFP sources said.

A senior SLFP’er said yesterday that during a meeting between Srisena and Kumaratunga in Colombo on Friday they had discussed abolishing the clause in the party constitution stipulating that any SLFPer who was elected President of the country automatically became Chairman of the SLFP as well.

" An amendment to this effect will be proposed by the President shortly," he said on condition of anonymity.

Ironically the SLFP constitution was changed in 2005 to oust Kumaratunga as the leader and install the then newly elected President Mahinda Rajapaksa in her place.

The Rajapaksas had not only ruled the country with an iron fist, while paying mere lip service to good governance and rule of law, but also stifled democratic dissent within the SLFP and veered the party away from the principles enunciated by its founder leaders, sources close to President Sirisena noted.

"We will not allow the Rajapaksa’s ever again to destroy the image of the SLFP. As stated by President Sirisena himself, the Cabinet of Ministers was forced to shut up while the Rajapaksas who were corrupt to the core had allocated nearly 90 percent of the national budget to ministries run by them.

"Fortunately the attempt by Mahinda and his brother Gotabhaya to grab power by force on January 9, when they realized the vote count was going against them, failed. For this we need to thank the Army Commander and the Inspector General of Police for refusing to follow the illegal directives given by the Rajapaksa brothers."

Mahinda, by making a big song and dance about him voluntarily handing over the SLFP Chairmanship to Sirisena had tried to create an impression that he was being magnanimous, but the fact is that he did not have a choice in the matter because the party Constitution had already laid down the policy that needed to be followed. He ,also created an impression of being a graceful looser and a true democrat by leaving Temple Trees in the early hours of January 9 .But before the day ended, the entire country knew of his failed coup attempt," the sources added

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