Ex-SLFP mayors tear into Basil


By Sarath de Silva

Time was when some Cabinet ministers had to act like labourers at the behest of Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who had no regard for workers’ rights, Jayewardenepura Kotte SLFP organiser and former Mayor Janaka Ranawaka said on Monday.

Addressing the media at the SLFP office in Welikada Plaza building complex in Rajagiriya, the former Mayor said that Basil Rajapaksa had alienated the working class. "We lost the last presidential election on January 08, 2015 thanks to Basil Rajapaksa, who created rifts among SLFP members thinking that he would be able to stay in power forever. So, the workers voted our government out. There was a time that we had to wait for Basil Rajapaksa’s permission to put up even a cutout for our party. He deprived the then Cabinet ministers of their political rights. His policy estranged some key politicians and they had no option but to work against the SLFP at elections. There were some ministers who amassed a great deal of wealth by licking Basil’s boots.

"Holding two May Day rallies of the SLFP will weaken us further. It will split the party. We are requesting our members not to do so. We call upon former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to realise this and attend the SLFP rally in Getambe. We know that he will never do anything detrimental to the SLFP’s interests. But, Basil Rajapaksa was in the UNP and always worked to further the interests of that party.

Former Mayor of Kaduwela GH Buddhadasa: "We will send more than 1,500 SLFP members from the Kaduwela electorate alone for the SLFP May Day rally. The Joint Opposition boasts that it will fill the Galle Face ground with its supporters. The highest ever biggest event which attracted the largest number of people to Galle Face was when Pope visited Sri Lanka. Even then there were only around 95,000 devotees there. The Galle Face ground could not be filled with 95,000 people and there will be large patches without a single person.

"Who handed over party leadership to President Maithripala Sirisena? The former President Rajapaksa did so after consulting his brothers. Did he ask any other SLFP member prior to taking his decision? His decision finally made SLFP members destitute.

Colombo District Organisera of SLFP Manjula Buddhadasa and Rajitha Kodithuwakku also addressed the media briefing.


History according to Buddhadasa
 Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who supported the setting up of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine, was now trying to pin the blame on the incumbent government, former Mayor of Kaduwela HG Buddhadasa said yesterday.
 Addressing a media conference at Rajagiriya, he said: “I was the Mayor of Kaduwela then. The former President ordered me to give approval for the setting up of the SAITM. When I delayed it, he called me and threatened me to do as he said. Thereafter, he gave Rs 600 million loan to SAITM and helped it commence operations with 13 children. Now, Rajapaksa has joined those who are opposing SAITM for political expediency.”


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