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SLFP upset about Welgama’s ‘Freedom Party’

2 years ago

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  • Dayasiri complaints to EC claiming name misleading

By Buddhika Samaraweera   The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) yesterday (7) filed a petition with the Election Commission (EC) alleging that members of the SLFP and the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) were being misled by a political party, namely the New Lanka Freedom Party (NLFP), which is to be registered under the leadership of SJB MP Kumara Welgama. Speaking to the media after meeting EC officials, SLFP General Secretary and State Minister for Batik, Handloom, and Local Apparel Products Dayasiri Jayasekara claimed that Welgama had handed over documents to the EC to register a new political party by misusing the name of the SLFP and misleading Party members. “During the last General Election, he received votes from the United National Party (UNP) and SJB members in the Kalutara District. He is also a member of the SJB. In such a situation, it would be a great injustice to those who voted for him, if he were to leave the SJB and form another political party,” he further said. Noting that Welgama first joined the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), then switched to the SJB, and is now going on to form another political party, Jayasekara said that Welgama has no right to use the name of the SLFP or any other similar name, as it is a serious offense under the law. “Therefore, we have submitted our objections to the EC,” he added. Meanwhile, when queried as to whether he believed that Welgama was fulfilling any contract for the benefit of a certain other party, Jayasekara said that he was not prepared to make such an allegation. “Welgama was a senior member of the SLFP, and it is not known as to why he is acting in this manner at present,” he said. However, when inquired about this, NLFP Secretary Thilak Waragoda claimed that Jayasekara has no moral or legal right to interfere in the NLFP’s registration. “The NLFP is another name and Jayasekara cannot interfere in its affairs. It is because the policies of the SLFP and Bandaranaike (a reference to the SLFP’s founder, late Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike) are being destroyed under their leadership that various groups are leaving to join us. Therefore, we do not care that Jayasekara and others seek to interfere in the affairs of our Party,” he added. Welgama launched a new political movement called the NLFP on 6 March 2020 and the launch of the Party was held under the theme “A Clean Bandaranaike Policy”. However, Jayasekara noted that the SLFP would continue to implement their policies as stated, in the manner that had been originally intended.
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