The Joint Opposition (JO) alleged that a significant number of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) MPs in the incumbent Government would leave their positions and come to the SLFP and the JO while certain other party MPs forming the balance would join the United National Party (UNP) depending on the situation.

SLFP Opposition MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena observed that he along with certain others including MP Mahinda Rajapaksa were of the view that a new party should not be formed, yet added that they strongly believed that in the end they would have no other option but to form a new political party and front as the official decision- makers of the SLFP were unwilling to compromise.

“They want to chase us out, so for our own survival we will have to form one,” he opined while adding that the general public and the SLFP membership were with former president Rajapaksa.

“The SLFP is one party so we can get together or we can become divided and fight each other at upcoming elections,” he pointed out.

He further explained that the UNP’s policies had proven thoroughly unsuccessful and that it was not popular among the masses while adding that to say that a split within the SLFP would be favourable to the UNP during an election was a fallacy.

Even if such a situation was to arise, it does not mean that the people would vote for the UNP, he reiterated.

“The SLFP is being made to pay for the sins of the UNP”, Abeywardena declared and added that while the formerly right-leaning businessmen had supported the UNP previously, at present they were completely disillusioned and disgruntled and had left the UNP, thereby no longer backing them and were working against them.

He charged that President Maithripala Sirisena, the Chairman of the SLFP, was not being properly consulted on affairs of the State and that he (Sirisena) comes to know things from the media and press.

According to Abeywardena, they believe that they could gain the numbers to form an SLFP Government.

“It is not necessary to form a new party as there are still opportunities to compromise. At present, we are getting ready for the worst. So far we have paid for the UNP’s sins. It is a UNP Government with SLFP MPs having joined in. We are of the view that there is nothing national about the Government,” he said.

“This is the drawback. We are not regarded or given due recognition in the least. We have been telling the SLFP MPs with the Government to resign their posts and positions. A few might come back in the future. They are not happy with the current situation and in fact they are thoroughly disgusted. The UNP’s policies do not work. The situation right now is vague, so let us wait and see,” Abeywardena added.