JO going ahead with May Day rally in spite of SLFP threat

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday said it would go ahead with its May Day rally at the Galle Face Green though the SLFP leadership had threatened disciplinary action against the SLFP MPs who turned down invitation to attend the Getambe rally chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena, who is also the SLFP leader.

Most of the JO members are SLFPers loyal to former President and Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Addressing the media at Dr N. M. Perera Centre, top Joint Opposition spokesman MP Dallas Alahapperuma said their participation at the Getambe meeting amounted to throwing JO’s weight behind treacherous ruling coalition. The MP was responding to State Finance Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, who had warned of tough disciplinary action if members boycotted the Getambe rally.

Alahapperuma said that the JO would never allow the grouping to be used to justify ongoing anti-Sri Lanka project. The Matara District MP said that JO’s May Day rally would highlight indefinite postponement of local government polls, the privatization of state sector assets and other measures inimical to the well being of the people.

He alleged that top SLFP organizers such as Janaka Bandara Tennakoon (Dambulla), Lohan Ratwatte (Pahathadumbara) and Anura Vidanagamage (Mahiyanganaya) had been sacked on the eve of May Day in accordance with an overall Sirikotha strategy. Alahapperuma flayed the SLFP leadership for getting rid of experienced organisers much to the disappointment of party supporters.

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