- SLFP faction calls for unity, says MR and MS will decide candidacy together
Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s (SLFP) breakaway fraction yesterday called for one Presidential candidate from the SLFP and Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), insisting both parties should have one candidate to form an alliance to compete in the Presidential Election.
“The basic structure of the proposed new political alliance has been completed, and both President Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa should work closely to strengthen the new alliance. The leaders of the alliance will decide the candidate for the Presidential Election jointly and the entire progressive public will support that candidate,” UPFA MP Dilan Perera told reporters at MP Thilanga Sumathipala’s residence.
Perera noted the new alliance would compete for all upcoming Elections, including the Provincial Council Election, which is likely to be held this year, and the General Election in 2020.
“There is no such thing that one group is better than the other, therefore we have to keep in our mind that as the senior political party, we are superior to the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna. But Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna also has to understand that their recent win in the Local Government Election matters but is not everything,” he added.
Speaking his turn, MP S.B. Dissanayake said other smaller political parties have also joined the two parties to form the proposed new political alliance. Dissanayake said so far all the discussions were successful, and the symbol of the new political alliance was being discussed. “We had met on Wednesday under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa. During the meeting, we have decided to work as one group under one name,” he added.
Dissanayake noted that during the meeting, it was decided the Committee headed by UPFA MP Dallas Alahapperuma, who was appointed by SLPP to look into possibilities of forming a new political alliance, to expand with the inclusion of SLFP members to the Committee.
He said MP Thilanga Sumathipala, SLFP General Secretary MP Dayasiri Jayasekara, and former Minister A.L.M. Athaulla were appointed to the Committee along with members of the SLPP, to expedite the alliance building process.
However, Dissanayake admitted certain MPs of SLFP and SLPP had been opposing formation of a new political alliance with the participation of SLFP and SLPP, but he assured that the new alliance building process would not be stopped due to such reasons.
“From the year 1952, we were able to win every time when we formed a broader political alliance, and every time when we try to compete alone, we lost. No one can take individual decisions, therefore we have to learn from our mistakes,” he added.
Meanwhile, MP Thilanga Sumathipala said a few Sub-Committees had been appointed by the Steering Committee, which is headed by President Maithripala Sirisena and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa. He noted that the Sub-Committees would take on the task to organise the alliance to ready to face upcoming elections. “We will meet on the 16th for further discussions.”