Prasanna continues to defy SLFP leadership


By Shamindra Ferdinando

The SLFP Minuwangoda Balamandayala yesterday unanimously decided to align with the Joint Opposition and demanded that President Maithripala Sirisena return the leadership of the party to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The outfit also demanded the immediate reinstatement of UPFA MP Prasanna Ranatunga as the SLFP organiser of Minuwangoda electorate.

The SLFP Minuwangoda Balamandayala met at Ranatunga’s Udugampola residence.

MP Ranatunga was among over 20 SLFP electoral organisers recently replaced by President Sirisena for backing the Joint Opposition.

Addressing the gathering, Ranatunga declared that the Joint Opposition campaign couldn’t be sabotaged by removing him or others loyal to the former President. The Gampaha District MP vowed to do everything possible against the government within the next two years.

The SLFP Minuwangoda Balamandayala also declared that it wouldn’t accept new organiser Ruwan Ranatunga, Prasanna’s brother under any circumstances.

MP Ranatunga said that he couldn’t be deprived of his rightful place in Minuwangoda. "Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga wanted me to take over Minuwangoda electorate way back in 1994 and enter parliament. However, I declined her offer. I was determined not to enter Parliament as long as my father, Reggie Ranatunga, represented the people of Minuwangoda electorate."

MP Ranatunga said that he had entered Parliament six years after his father’s demise.

An irate MP alleged that the government was conspiring to arrest and remand seven key members of the Joint Opposition next month. The former Western Province Chief Minister warned that their campaign couldn’t be derailed by harassing members of the Joint Opposition.

The MP alleged that the underworld had resumed operations in a big way in the wake of the emergence of the yahapalana rule. "During the UPFA administration, notorious thugs fled the country. But, today, they are back."

MP Ranatunga castigated those who had been accommodated through the National List after being rejected by the people. The MP alleged that such political rejects had been pursuing the UNP agenda and engaged in a despicable project to engineer the SLFP’s defeat at the next local government polls.

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