SLPP dissidents, SLFP form alliance ‘to back Ranil W’



Several Ministers in pro-Ranil group

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The New Alliance, a newly-formed political outfit, consisting of a group of dissident SLPP MPs, over the weekend, reached an understanding with the SLFP to pursue a common agenda, widely believed to be beneficial to President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The formation of the New Alliance-SLFP was announced at their inaugural public meeting held at Ambalantota on Saturday (08), just two days after members of both groups – all elected from the SLPP at the last General Election – voted for the highly controversial Sri Lanka Electricity (Amendment) Bill. They were among the group of 103 that backed Wickremesinghe’s Bill.

The group declared its intention to function as a separate group, both in and outside Parliament. On the stage, at Ambalantota, were Leader of the House, Education Minister Susil Premjayantha, Ports and Aviation Minister and Acting SLFP Chairman Nimal Siripala de Silva, Acting SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake, Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Amaraweera, Trade Minister Nalin Bandara, State Minister Chamara Sampath Dasanayake, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Nimal Lanza.

The speakers attacked the Rajapaksas, as well as former SLFP leader and ex-President Maithripala Sirisena.

Minister Amaraweera alleged that the failure on the part of Sirisena forced them to take this path while some of their MPs ended up with the SJB.

Minister Premjayantha warned those who resorted to wrong policies, over the years, that they would have to choose between the mental hospital at Angoda or Welikada prison.MP Anura Priyadarshana Yapa recently told The Island that their group comprised about 30 MPs. The former Minister explained that reaching a consensus was a forgone conclusion.

Before the SLPP voted UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the President, in late July 2022, the SLPP lost nearly 25 MPs.

Political sources said that the SLPP, over the past two years, had lost the allegiance of several dozens of MPs and the recent formation of the New Alliance and the dissident SLFP group was quite a setback.