SB’s reading of future of MR

Published : 7:53 am  June 25, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Sandun A Jayasekera
If the SLFP faction led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa unites with the main SLFP headed by President Maithripala Sirisena, it would be a boost for the UPFA to win the upcoming Parliamentary polls but if Mr. Rajapaksa contests the election as the Prime Ministerial candidate, it would be a disaster and no one could prevent a victory for the UNP, Rural Economic Affairs Minister S.B. Dissanayaka said.

Addressing the media at theDM_20150625_A001-6 weekly SLFP news briefing yesterday at the party office, Minister Dissanayaka however, kept hopes that the election campaign of the united UPFA spearheaded by President Sirisena and assisted by Mr. Rajapaksa would emerge victorious at the polls.

He said one of the main contributory factors to the election set back for the UPFA was the distancing of 1.2 million Muslim voters from the party at the Presidential poll and the UPFA must regain the confidence of the minorities to win the next general election.

Responding to a journalist, he said President Sirisena or Mr. Rajapaksa did not want to split the party at any cost and both of them are fully dedicated to bring the UPFA to victory at the upcoming election.

In response to another journalist, Minister Dissanayaka admitted that it was he who wrote the controversial book ‘Think this too – Protect the Party’ which included severe criticism on Mr. Rajapaksa and added it was written by him on the knowledge and the blessings of the party hierarchy. .

About disowning the book and calling it as a ‘Kelepattarayak’ by some SLFP leaders, Minister Dissanayaka said do not treat those remarks seriously and added the second book of the serious is being circulated in limited proportions now among party members. Commenting on the two-day adjournment motion debate on the 20A, he said the SLFP had agreed to increase the composition of the new Parliament to 265 including members from multi seat constituencies. “I am confident that the UNP will fall in line with the 265 seat Parliament because with that number of members, the minority interests will be safeguarded. Besides, it will be a difficult task to bring down the number of polling divisions to 125 from the current 166 for the Elections Commissioner and the De-limitation Committee,” he added.

Commenting on one of the main objectives of the electoral reforms, Minister Dissanayaka said the SLFP has been campaigning against the much criticised Preferential Voting System as it was the root to many ills in body politics in Sri Lanka such as regional. “Communal and racial politics and caste oriented politics. It also opened opportunities for uneducated individuals to get elected to political office on their money power, which will be eliminated with the introduction of the 20thA.

“Now, the SLMC wants two ballot papers for the voter to vote for a candidate he or she prefers and vote for a separate party if necessary which kills the purpose of giving away the PR system.

“The two ballot paper system will reintroduce all the ills associated with it. Therefore, the SLFP cannot agree to the two ballot paper system. The SLFP was fully supportive of 20 A and expects to introduce amendments at the committee stage when the Bill is taken up for debate in Parliament despite attempts by the UNP to prevent 20 A being passed in Parliament,” he said.

Minister Dissanayaka blamed the JVP and minority parties for their approach to the 20A and added if they are opposed they must come up with their alternative proposals.