News

Sirisena-led SLFP holds ‘successful’ talks with Prez 

 

  • SLFP LG politicos issues, party’s role in governance discussed: Dayasiri
  • Denies talk of Cabinet reshuffle
  • SLPP Gen. Secy. Sagara reminds SLFP of status quo

 

BY Buddhika Samaraweera 

A discussion between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and representatives of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), including its Chairman and Parliamentarian Maithripala Sirisena, was held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (26).

In addition to Sirisena, SLFP General Secretary and State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara, SLFP Senior Vice Presidents and Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva and Mahinda Amaraweera, SLFP Treasurer and State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna, and SLFP National Organiser and State Minister Duminda Dissanayake were also present.
Speaking to the media after the discussion, Jayasekara said that the discussion with the President was extremely successful. He added that in particular, the issues faced by local government (LG) representatives of the SLFP and the involvement of the SLFP in aspects of governance were discussed at length.

“In addition, we discussed with the President regarding the drafting of a new Constitution, educational reforms, the fertiliser crisis, and the issues faced by trade unions. Talks were held on the current political situation as well,” he added further.

Noting that the lack of opportunity for the SLFP to be involved in governance was clearly explained to the President, Jayasekara pointed out that the discussion was focused on formulating a programme to obtain the active participation of all those representing the SLFP for the present Government’s programmes.

Meanwhile, in response to a question posed by the media as to whether there was a discussion on a reshuffle of the Cabinet of Ministers, Jayasekara said that no such discussion had taken place. Rather than gaining positions, our hope is to further strengthen the SLFP, he added. When queried as to whether there are any plans for the SLFP to step down from the current Government, he explained that there were no such plans. Instead, he added further that it would help rectify certain shortcomings and strengthen the current Government’s programme.

However, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) General Secretary and Parliamentarian Sagara Kariyawasam, speaking at a media briefing held last morning, claimed that certain members of the SLFP are still of the view that the SLFP is the main political party of the current ruling political alliance, the Sri Lanka Freedom People’s Alliance (SLFPA).

“Some members of the SLFP think that they are the main party in this alliance since the main party in previous alliances such as the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) was the SLFP. They had a lot of power in those alliances. However, at present, the SLFP is not the main party in the SLFPA, whereas the main political party of it is the SLPP,” he noted.

Further, he added that the aforesaid situation had been understood by those with political maturity in the SLFP while others, on the other hand, were making various statements regarding such without understanding the actual situation. However, he added that they hope to resolve all these issues and move forward in a positive manner.