Even though R. Sampanthan was being appointed as the Opposition Leader several politicians are not in agreement with the decision. The topic as to who has the right to become the Opposition Leader or which party should be given the post has been able to attract a lot of attention in the past few days.
Kumara Welgama, who was named as the candidate for the post of Opposition Leader from the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) expressing his views on naming R. Sampanthan as the Opposition Leader said that a letter signed by 56 UPFA MPs was handed over to President Maithripala Sirisena, requesting that he (Welgama) be made the Opposition Leader and MP Mahindanada Aluthgamage to be appointed the Chief Opposition Whip.
“Even though the President said that he will consider the letter, Sampanthan was appointed the Opposition Leader. Such an appointment should be notified to the members by the party secretary, which was also not done. It is evident that our letter was ignored,” he said.
National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa at a press conference held on Thursday (3) expressed that the government has given the post of the Opposition Leader to a party who supports the government, “We are not challenging the speaker’s decision. But giving the TNA the post of Opposition Leader and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) being given the position as the Chief Opposition Whip proved that the government wants to appoint people who supports them,” said MP Weerawansa.
Meanwhile Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) General Secretary Udaya Gammmanpila is of the view that they are not against a Tamil person being appointed for the Opposition Leader’s post but about the TNA being given the position.
Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Chief Executive Officer, Dilantha Withanage said that they do not have any question of who the Opposition Leader is but as to the mechanism as to how the Opposition Leader is appointed. “BBS is opposed to the way the appointment is made. But Sampanthan himself should think whether he has the right to hold the position. Because clearly the majority of the Opposition is against his especially the SLFPers,”
Withanage further mentioned that the government makes these types of appointments just to maintain the power and it is done only for their advantage.
Ravana Balaya, General Secretary Ven. Iththakande Saddhatissa speaking to The Nation mentioned that appointing R. Sampanthan as the opposition leader is an act of betrayal.“We clearly see this appointment as an act betraying the Sinhala Buddhists,” said Ven. Saddhatissa.
He emphasized that Sampanthan will surely exploit his position and will work towards to have a separate state by making use of his position. “This appointment is made on an agreement between the government and the Tamil National Alliance on January 8,” he added.
“If they are given that post they will exploit the position because in past they have worked against the country. TNA do not deserve to hold the post,” said Gammmanpila.