Sirisena coy about joining CBK and Welgama party

BY Buwanajee Coralage


When questioned by the media on the probability of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) joining hands with the newly formed New Lanka Freedom Party (NLFP) founded by MP Kumara Welgama and supported by former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga (commonly referred to as CBK), former President and incumbent SLFP Leader MP Maithripala Sirisena was reluctant to give a direct answer, saying that he would leave such decision to the future, but adding that such alliances would be needed in the times ahead.

“We should leave that to the future, but it is apparent that some sort of alliance would be needed in moving forward,” said Sirisena.

This new party, the NLFP, was founded by MP Kumara Welgama with the stated aim of creating a party following a rational path by joining independent forces in the Government without succumbing to the slogans of the extremist left-wing or right-wing political parties.

Following the ideals presented by former slain Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike  in 1951 to launch a centrist political movement, the party was launched on 6 March 2020 under the theme “A clean Bandaranaike Policy”.

Meanwhile, Sirisena also said that some members of the SLFP are unwilling to serve without positions in the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party.

The SLFP Chairman said the party has had to face continuous problems ever since its founder, the late S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, was assassinated.  

He said: “We have endured all kinds of ordeals under the governments of J.R. Jayewardene and R. Premadasa for 17 years. I even went to jail. During the issue of revoking Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike’s civic rights, I slept on the main road in Polonnaruwa along with two or three thousand people. They grabbed me by the ear, kicked me in the back, put me in a jeep, and kept me in the Anuradhapura jail for three months. 

“I suffered for 17 years. None of us went to any government to ask for a ministerial post or to be the president of a corporation,” he said.