A possible change in the SLFP leadership was discussed when President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga met at Temple Trees for a marathon discussion, party sources disclosed yesterday.
The discussion went on for nearly four and half hours forcing President Rajapaksa to even skip the Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Secretariat.
The party leadership, now held by Ms. Kumaratunga has become a controversial issue with local council elections on the cards and with Ministers pulling in different directions.
The sources said Ms. Kumaratunga had clearly asked President Rajapaksa whether he really aspired for the party leadership and an apparently surprised President replied that he had not yet thought about it seriously.
However in the course of the discussion the President indicated to Ms. Kumaratunga it would be better to have the party leadership under him since it would streamline the process of coordinating the party with the work of the Presidency and the government.
He pointed out cases in other countries where leadership of the party was with the President and said it was so even in the main opposition UNP. The President said there were pressure groups in the SLFP urging him to take over the party leadership because it would help strengthen the party and maintain more discipline.
However the discussion ended without any decision on a change in the party leadership.