SLFP eager to welcome former President Rajapaksa at their May Day rally


By Dasun Edirisinghe

Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva addressing the media at the SLFP headquarters yesterday. UPFA General Secretary and SLFP National Organiser Susil Premajayantha, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera and Aviation Minister Reginald Cooray were also present.

The SLFP yesterday said it was eager to welcome its former leader, ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the party’s May Day rally at Hyde Park tomorrow (01).

Addressing the media at the party head office on Darley Road, Colombo, Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva, said the former president had accepted the party’s invitation. However, he had not confirmed his participation at the rally, MP de Silva said.

Silva said that their processions to Hyde Park would commence from the Nelum Pokuna junction and D. R. Wijewardena Mawatha and the rally would start at 2.00 pm at Hyde Park.

Asked to comment on reports that a group of UPFA MPs including Dinesh Gunawardena, Wimal Weerawansa and Vasudeva Nanayakkara were organising a separate May Day rally at  Kirulapone in support of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s return as alliance’s Prime Ministerial Candidate, Silva said anyone could organise rallies but the former leader would not attend them.

Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that according to information from the former President’s side, he would not attend the Kirulapone rally. "If the former President participates in a May Day rally, it will be the SLFP rally in Hyde Park", Amaraweera said, adding that former President Rajapaksa would not be attending any other rally.

He said that the theme of the SLFP May Day rally was ‘Wedabimata Javayak, Sirilakata Saviyak.’

Pic by Kamal Bogoda.

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