Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Parliamentarians in the Opposition will be boycotting the Party’s 66th anniversary celebrations on Sunday 3 at the Campbell Park in Borella.
Whilst denying that they had received any invitation in this regard, SLFP MPs of the Joint Opposition (JO) maintained that so as long as the Party remained in the Government, in this case a Government with the United National Party (UNP), and continued with the present way of doing things, they would have nothing to do with such.
With the view of strengthening the SLFP, Chairman of the Party, President Maithripala Sirisena recently called on all including Members of the SLFP presently in the Opposition with the JO and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, to join with them at the said anniversary where the Party’s future plan and political programme would be announced.
SLFP JO MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said that the SLFPers in the Opposition and the JO were the staunch SLFPers who had never left the Party or joined hands with others or betrayed the Party by attempting to stop the Party’s victory but instead had wholeheartedly worked towards such.
He explained that they had attempted to work with President Sirisena during the period when the 100 days programme was to be implemented, and had expected to be led by him as the leader, only to be disappointed on all fronts following the General Election. He pointed out that the only solution to which they would be amenable would be if the so called SLFP left the Government and joined hands with the SLFP Members in the Opposition with the view of forming a separate SLFP Government at the next Parliamentary Election.
“We do not agree with the coalition Government. Therefore, so as long as the so called SLFP remains in the Government, we cannot support their ideology. What we believe is that our legitimate victory was forcibly taken from us and handed over to the UNP. That hurt us. We do not know what stand or side the so called SLFP would take,” he said. “ Party Members in rural areas are angry at what is happening. It is very difficult to convince them otherwise. The Party has been betrayed to the UNP. The country has not benefitted. There is no progress. The so called SLFP and the UNP are moving and working in different directions. They are at loggerheads. This is not governance but merely passing the day. President Sirisena has no choice but to continue with the joint Government. Let the people decide,” he elaborated.