Weerakkody asks dissidents to return to SLFP’s fold to form a future govt.


by Dasun Edirisinghe

Action against SLFP Parliamentarians who attended the Jt. Opposition May Day rally at Kirulapone at the expense of the party’s rally in Galle would be taken at the Central Committee meeting of the SLFP, Minister of Petroleum and Petroleum Gas Chandima Weerakkody said yesterday.

Addressing the media at the government Information Department, Weerakkody said that it was still not too late for their MPs in the Joint Opposition to join forces with the SLFP leadership to form a future government.

Citing examples from history, Weerakkody said all in the SLFP should realise that there was no future for them without the party.

The UNP had not suffered a split when Gamini Dissanayake and Lalith Athulathmudali left the party and they had returned to the party fold. The same had happened to Chandrika Bandaranaike and Anura Bandaranaike after leaving party, he said.

Weerakkody said the Joint Opposition boasted of having brought massive crowds to Kirulapone on May Day to weaken the Galle rally organised by the SLFP, but the event had not been a success.

"The largest crowd out of the three main rallies was in Galle and now all have realised the majority of SLFPers are with its present leadership," Weerakkody said.

Weerakkody said President Maithripala Sirisena had, instead of taking arbitrary decisions, permitted the SLFP Central Committee to decide in a democratic manner.

Minister of Vocational Training and Skills Development Mahinda Samarasinghe said that the Joint Opposition’s challenge had been diminished as 90% of SLFPers had participated in the Galle rally on May 01.

Answering a query, he said he had been defeated at the election by a conspiracy by Mahinda Rajapaksa loyalists.

"Even former President Rajapaksa asked people not to vote for me indirectly at meetings in the Kalutara District," Samarasinghe said, adding but President Sirisena had done justice.

He said no one could topple the government for another four years unless a resolution with a two-thirds majority was adopted by Parliament to that effect.


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