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Politics: ‘Not decided on helping any party’: CBK

Politics: ‘Not decided on helping any party’: CBK

06 Nov 2023 | BY Buddhika Samaraweera

  • Denies media reports of a new SLFP post
  • Discussions underway between several parties: Act. Gen. Secy. SLFP

Former President and one-time Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Leader Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga on 4 November stressed that she has not decided to support any political party for politics. 

Addressing an event to grant scholarships for schoolchildren, Kumaratunga denied reports that she had asked for a special position within the SLFP to return to active politics.

Late last week, the media had reported that Kumaratunga had decided to make a political comeback by joining the SLFP, and supporting its affairs again.

When contacted by The Daily Morning to inquire about the matter, the Acting General Secretary of the SLFP, MP Sarathi Dushmantha said that they were currently in discussions with several parties including Kumaratunga and other political parties regarding the SLFP's future programme.

In response to media reports that there are preparations to separate the post of SLFP Chairperson and Leader so that Kumaratunga could be offered one of those positions, he said: "Kumaratunga is currently the Patron of the SLFP. There has been no discussion to the extent of having to amend the Party's Constitution, and introduce new portfolios, but we are all of the view that she is a great strength to us, and we should therefore receive her support."

However, speaking to the media at an event organised by the Anura Bandaranaike Memorial Foundation to grant scholarships to schoolchildren of low-income families, Kumaratunga said that she had not decided to support any political party, as reported by certain media organisations. "The media reports state that I have asked for a post, which is totally false. It was the SLFP Leader who came to me and pleaded for my support, but I have not decided to support any party."

Following former president Mithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as SLFP Chairman, deciding to suspend the party membership of Kumaratunga and several other SLFP members in 2022, they were at loggerheads, and seen criticising each other on several occasions. It was against that backdrop that they saw a reunion at a recent event to commemorate the slain and late Prime Ministers S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and Sirimavo Bandaranaike, and the late Speaker Anura Bandaranaike in Horagolla.

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