Ready to face any challenge – Maithri

Friday, 5 April 2024 00:30 –      – 21

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  • Accuses Duminda Dissanayake, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, and Mahinda Amaraweera of aligning party with Govt. 
  • Stresses reasons for disciplinary action against trio will be informed to citizens and courts
  • Expresses confusion as to why CBK would support them in their attempt to lead party away from its original ideologies

Former President and SLFP Chairman Maithripala Sirisena, addressing an urgent press conference convened in response to yesterday’s court order, expressed his readiness to confront any challenges that come his way. Putting on a brave face Sirisena emphasised that such challenges are not uncommon for the longstanding Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).

“In the history of the SLFP, challenges like these are not uncommon. Mrs. Chandrika Bandaranaike, Mr. Vijaya Kumaratunga, Mr. Anura Bandaranaike all broke away from the SLFP and established new parties. After Mrs. Bandaranaike’s civic rights were revoked in 1977, we were forced to remain in the opposition for 17 years due to such actions by them,” he recalled.

However, during the press conference, the former President focused primarily on presenting the party’s stance regarding party members Duminda Dissanayake, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, and Mahinda Amaraweera, who were dismissed from their positions within the party recently.

While the trio obtained an order this week preventing the party from removing them from their respective posts, Sirisena accused them of acting against the party’s principles by aligning with the Government. He asserted that the SLFP’s stance was to only join if a multiparty government was to be formed. “Their actions were driven by greed for ministerial positions rather than genuine concern for the country, its people, or the party,” he remarked.

He asserted that they had violated the party’s decision and thus breached party discipline. Additionally, he accused them of obstructing the SLFP’s efforts to form an alliance by withholding the party’s two alliance symbols, the ‘Betel leaf’ and the ‘Chair,’ which were used at elections previously. Furthermore, Sirisena alleged that dissident MPs had attempted to align the SLFP with the Government, despite the opposition from the party’s members and voters.

Sirisena said these facts will be presented to the court and public in due course.

Sirisena said he only became aware that former SLFP leader Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga had secured an interim injunction to oust him from the chairmanship of the SLFP through the media. “I have not been informed of the order officially yet,” he said.

When questioned about Kumaratunga’s motives for taking such action, Sirisena responded philosophically and said that everything evolves and changes with time.

He expressed confusion regarding Kumaratunga’s decision to support the three errant SLFP members who are attempting to lead the party in a direction divergent from the ideologies of its founding father, thereby aligning it with the Government. He also asserted that he still maintains majority support within the party. He also refuted any suggestion of being barred from visiting the party head office on Darley Road.

It has been long rumoured that Kumaratunga was attempting to regain control of the party.