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Udaya Gammanpila | Mahinda Yapa

It is a prerequisite that Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Members unwilling to contest the forthcoming Local Government and Provincial Councils elections under the leadership of Chairman of the Party President Maithripala Sirisena form a new political party prior to forming and joining a new political alliance with the joint Opposition parties, MP Udaya Gammanpila said.

General Secretary of the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) Gammanpila said he had in the media presently only heard MP Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and former Minister Basil Rajapaksa comment about the need to form a new political party and about the formation of it.

“At present there are two issues. One is the formation of a new political party and the other is the formation of a new political alliance. SLFP members not contesting the upcoming elections under Sirisena must form a new political party in order to contest. Those who want to contest and are not with the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), of which the Leader is Sirisena, must form a new political alliance. To solve the problem, a new political party has to be established,” he added.

MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena remarked that since all the political parties presently in the Opposition including those constituting the ad hoc Joint Opposition, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) were technically all part of the government – a joint one formed by and between the SLFP and the United National Party (UNP) – there was presently no Opposition in the country, and for this end the SLFP had to be salvaged.

“The idea that a new political party should emerge has been developing and we have been trying to organize this from the beginning but it is only now that the pressure from the people is on us, everywhere we go, to do this. Mahinda Rajapaksa has highlighted that there is no Opposition in the House. Even the Joint Opposition is technically part of the government so too practically is the JVP and the TNA. The Leader of the Opposition never criticizes the government on national issues but only talks of problems in the North. He votes with the government. We want to take the SLFP away from this grip,” he observed.
Media Spokesman of the SLFP, MP Dilan Perera was not available for a comment.