Moves to detach UPFA from SLFP

Published : 8:48 am  September 1, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


 reads | 



By Sandun A Jayasekera
Moves are afoot by some United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) stalwarts to detach the alliance from its main constituent partner — the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and contest the local government elections under the betel leaf symbol, Dailymirror learns.

A UPFA insider, on condition of anonymity, told  Dailymirror that several rounds of talks had been held in this regard and one of the main promoters of this idea is National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa.

“Those involved in the break-up have conveyed this idea to SLFP front-liners — Prasanna Ranatunga, Kumara Welgama, Dayasiri Jayasekara, Johnston Fernando, Mahindananda Aluthgamage and leftist leaders DEW Gunasekara, Dinesh Gunawardana and Tissa Witharana,” the insider said. “They have a lot to cry about with some of them unhappy about some others being offered Cabinet portfolios or at least a deputy ministerial posts. Some others feel that President Maithripala Sirisena has bulldozed the SLFP with only those who toe his line enjoying the benefits while there are a few who believe that the UPFA with a few of those who opted to remain out of the UNP-led unity government should function as the true opposition.”

The UPFA insider said the very fact of one party representing the government and the opposition in parliament is nothing but a miscarriage of democracy and parliamentary traditions.

However, another concern among these UPFA members as to how ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa fits into this scenario with nearly all those who canvassing for a break-up with the SLFP are ardent Rajapaksa supporters.

Meanwhile, UPFA front-liner Dullas Alahapperuma who is a close confidant of Mr. Rajapaksa said that whatever was said and done it was the SLFP which was the play-maker in the SLFP-UPFA combine.

“The 4.7 million votes, polled by the UPFA reflected the trust reposed on the SLFP and Mahinda Rajapaksa. My personal view is that the UPFA must remain within the SLFP with Mahinda Rajapaksa as the patron,” he said. 

Meanwhile, the government hopes to conduct elections to 335 local government bodies before the end of this year.

A majority of the local government bodies are now administered by special commissioners after the expiry of their term of office while the term of office of 15 Municipal Councils, five Pradeshiya Sabas and one Urban Council will expire either on October 16 or on 31.  Former Local Government and Provincial Council Minister Karu Jayasuriya is on record as saying that local government elections would be held before the end of 2015 under the new electoral system.