SLFP CC decides against taking action against MPs for attending Hyde Park rally

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The SLFP would not take disciplinary action against its parliamentarians who attended the Joint Opposition’s Jana Satana rally at Hyde Park recently, SLFP media spokesman and State Minister of Highways Dilan Perera said yesterday.

Perera told a media briefing at SLFP headquarters in Colombo that the SLFP Central Committee had taken the decision after analysing the contents of the speeches made by the SLFP MPs at the rally.

None of the SLFP members who attended the rally had criticised the party leadership, Perera said, adding that they had only criticised government actions.

"Only the UPFA MP Wimal Weerawansa criticised the SLFP leadership," Perera said.

The state minister also noted that there were two ideologies in the SLFP, but the party had not been divided and there were no two factions.

Several people were trying to divide the party, but the members of Joint Opposition and SLFP had now returned to the right track after the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Aamaraweera’s appointment as UPFA General Secretary, Deputy Minister Perera said.

Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa had not yet given up his attempt to break up the SLFP to form a new party, but several members including former Ministers Mahindananda Aluthgamage had publicly said the Joint Opposition members were not interested in doing so, Perera said.

Perera maintained that statements made by former President Chandrika Bandaranaiake Kumaratunga were bound to cause split in the party as she was trying to take the revenge from former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Minister Perera said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had forgotten that he was the Premier and acted as the Opposition Leader. "Old habits die hard," he said

"Several government Ministers are acting as if they were in the Opposition by always criticising ex- President Rajapaksa for everything and the Opposition members have forgotten that they are in the opposition and acting as if they were the members of the government."

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