SLFP already split – Basil
Posted on August 21st, 2016

By W.K. Prasad Manju Courtesy Ceylon Today

? Some say the Pada Yathra alarmed the government. Some others say it was not as successful as the organizers claimed it to be. What is your view?
A: Jana Satana Pada Yathra was one of the events in the agenda of the anti-government forces of the Joint Opposition. That was just one step in our quest to safeguard our country. We have to consider whether the main objective of the Pada Yathra has been achieved before we decide whether it was successful or not.
I think the Pada Yathra had a great impact on the government in assessing whether the path they are taking is right or wrong.

? How did you contribute to this march?
A: It was organized by the combined anti-government forces of the Joint Opposition. I was assigned to rally the local government representatives, and I think it was successfully done.

? Some local government representatives said the organizing of the march had been completed before you were taken into custody. Is it true?
A: I was not in charge of organizing the entire Pada Yathra. I was given only one task. And I believe I fulfilled that task successfully.

? Were you ready to walk all the way from Kandy to Colombo in the Jana Satana Pada Yathra?
A: I am not as strong, either mentally or physically, as former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. But, I had planned to walk at least some distance in the Pada Yathra.
? But, as soon as you were remanded, you were transferred to hospital. Some question how you were planning to walk if your health was failing?

A: I was hospitalized under medical advice. I stayed in the hospital several days under medical advice even after I was bailed out. Fate decides the health and no one can avoid it.

? Do you have an illness which requires prolonged medical care?
A: I have been undergoing medical treatment for the last six years in the US. After I returned to Sri Lanka this time, I could not go for treatments for the past one and half years. Now I am treated by local doctors.
I was not given the opportunity to see my family for one and half years. Both my family and I are having a hard time about it. I have no judicial permission to go abroad. The first birthday of my second daughter’s baby fell last Tuesday. I haven’t still seen that baby.

? Dont your children ask you to give up all this and come to them?

A: My wife and three children live in the US. All three children are married and they have kids. I will be here as long as former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is in politics, no more.

? Will Mahinda Rajapaksa contest the 2020 general election as the prime ministerial candidate? Or is there a plan to change the power dynamics in the present Parliament and grab power?
A: We are working according to a plan to save the country. The first priority is avoiding damage and protecting the country. After that we have other plans, which will not be revealed for the moment.

? President Maithripala Sirisena recently said while the ordinary people have no help when they are sent to jail, the politicians are admitted to hospital as soon as they are remanded. He also said it would be necessary to build a prison hospital.

A: That is a good proposal. He said this before the professionals including the Chief Justices of Asia. Not only me but several officials remanded with me are treated in the hospital. If the President targeted me in this statement, it was not a good thing to do.

? Do you have any political deal with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe?
A: Neither President Maithripala Sirisena nor Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have met me after the presidential election of 8 January 2015. We might have chatted when we met at a wedding or a funeral. But, there is no political deal. I have not talked to them over the phone or by way of another person.

? Do you accept President Maithripala Sirisena as leader of the SLFP?

A: No.
? Why?
A: I will be in politics as long as former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is in politics. I will only acknowledge the leadership of Mahinda Rajapaksa. On the day President Maithripala Sirisena was appointed SLFP leader, I quit the post of national organizer of the SLFP.

? Did Mahinda Rajapaksa hand over the party reins on his own volition or did President Sirisena insist that he wanted the leadership? What happened in truth?

A: I was in the US then. Therefore, I don’t actually know what happened then. I don’t say either giving or assuming the position of party leader is wrong.

? Do you still have the SLFP membership?
A: I don’t know. One person has told a newspaper that my membership had been terminated. I have obtained the membership after paying the annual membership fee.
? You are accused of being under a contract of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to split the SLFP?
A: There is nothing more to split the SLFP. It is already split.
? Who is responsible for that?

A: President Sirisena initiated that. There were two phases. One was weakening the party. The other was splitting. Weakening started with the quitting of the SLFP General Secretary. Then he removed the General Secretary of the UPFA two days ahead of the general election. The split of the party started with that. President Sirisena created a number of problems by changing the electoral organizer positions and the national list of the party. Some 40 electoral organizers were removed this week. The ones who gained the highest preferential votes have been removed. Mahinda Rajapaksa follows the genuine SLFP policies. All party members are with him. The party is where the members and the policies are. That is the party.

? It is the UNP that stands to benefit more from a split within the SLFP. Hence, fingers may point at you for instigating such a split and benefiting the UNP in the long run. Can you respond?
A: No. I saw a beautiful newspaper advertisement. It said that the UNP anniversary would be held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. It is like President Sirisena is also the leader of the UNP. That shows where the deal is.

? But, didnt former President Rajapaksa try to come to an agreement with the UNP at one point to gain the parliamentary majority to win the war?
A: Yes. A strong Parliament was necessary to defeat terrorism. President Rajapaksa invited all parties for that. Discussions were held to come to an agreement with the UNP. But, that party was not honest. Therefore, 17 MPs led by Karu Jayasuriya joined the government. It was not a national government. The policies implemented were of the SLFP and the UPFA. But, the present government implements only the UNP policies.

? Did former President Rajapaksa act to protect Ranil Wickremesinghe when his leadership was challenged within the party?
A: Whatever is said, the official Opposition Leader was duly respected by former President Rajapaksa.

? Wasnt there a political deal between Ranil Wickremesinghe and Mahinda Rajapaksa?
A: No. Political deals exist only now. I explained it earlier. All heads of State were cordial with the Opposition Leader of the time. Likewise, former President Rajapaksa dealt with the then Opposition Leader Wickremesinghe.

? In such a backdrop, is it wrong that the present government reached an agreement with the opposition?

A: Discussing certain facts is not wrong. But, the present Opposition Leader was selected by the government. Although the opposition must vote against the budget, they voted in favour of it. How can such things happen? Opposition Chief Whip, JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayaka was the main critic of the Joint Opposition’s Pada Yathra. They are the real deals. The TNA also criticized it even though it was not relevant to them. Pada Yathra was not against the TNA or the JVP. It was against the government. Why do the TNA and the JVP worry about that?

? When Ranil Wickremesinghe was the Opposition Leader, the UNP headquarters Sirikotha was attacked. Didnt former President Rajapaksa upset the attack by closing the road?
A: Some say so, but some others allege that former President Rajapaksa split the UNP. Which of these two is correct? They must stick to one. Former President Rajapaksa’s view was that the UNP should be a strong opposition party.

? Are the Rajapaksas feeling the brunt of safeguarding the leadership of Ranil Wickremesinghe?

A: We don’t expect anybody’s help in return. We act against this government. You can see what we have gained from being anti-government. Rajapaksas are given it their maximum. But, we see Wickremesinghe is treating the Opposition Leader he has appointed quite well.

? Even former President Rajapaksa looked after the Opposition Leader of his time very well.
A: There is no fault in doing that. Ranil Wickremesinghe is looking after the Opposition Leader better than Mahinda Rajapaksa did. The leadership of the opposition was not given to the majority party in the opposition and it was given to Sampanthan by this government. Therefore, they must look after the welfare of the Opposition Leader. We see Sampanthan returning the favour.

? What do you say about the serious allegations against the Rajapaksas on corruption?

A: All these charges aimed at mudslinging will be proved false in Court. These are only revengeful acts. I am not accused of soliciting bribes. I am accused of bribing the common people. I paid compensations, housing and flag posts etc. The allegation is about distributing goods to the poor people. I don’t like to speak about them more than this because they are being examined in Courts.

? The government confiscated some of your property.
A: There is no land in Kaduwela or Malwana under my name. None of my property has been confiscated. If they plan to confiscate my land in future, it will be political reprisal.

? There is a rumour about a house in Matara?

A: The land in Matara is my younger sister’s. I have no connection to it. I don’t like to speak about it because this matter too is in Court now.

? If the Rajapaksas are accused falsely like this, why dont they take legal action?
A: All these facts are being discussed with the lawyers. I must also say that one has vowed to convert a property belonging to one of my relations into a hotel school. That person built a hotel on a land belonging to the Coastal Conservation Department. When it was about to be taken over by the government, it was stopped. Such people make false charges against us now. That person’s hotel is suitable for a hotel school.

? S.B. Dissanayaka is being criticized for trying to whitewash your acts of distributing flag posts to local government bodies.
A: As the subject Minister, S.B. Dissanayaka replied in Parliament that it was not wrong. Dissanayaka said another thing under the influence of another. I know why those influences were made. I don’t have connections with S.B. Dissanayaka other than that.

? Will you participate in the 65th anniversary celebrations of the SLFP?

A: No.

? Will former President Rajapaksa take part?
A: I have no idea about that. You must ask President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

? Is the rumour about a new political party true?
A: Not a new political party. We will form a new anti-government political force. No one can stop it. This political force will win the next local government election definitely.

? Who will lead it?
A: Thousands of people who love this country will lead it. We will invite former President Rajapaksa also to join it.

? Will it split the SLFP?
A: This is not about splitting the party or forming a new party. This is about formation of an anti-government political force uniting political parties, trade unions, professionals, civil organizations and intellectuals. The SLFP is also a part of this.

? Will a new force be advantageous to the UNP?

A: We are the most powerful section of the opposition. We will win the fight to be the strongest among the strong. I will tell you an important fact. The government must decide to split or not in the future.
That is, splitting the group who contested under the Swan symbol. We are closely monitoring the developments. But, the opposition will not break. Our political force is ready to face them even if they contest as a Swan alliance or separately. Will those who hold anniversaries together divide in the local government election? We have to ask that question from the present government.
? Is a group trying to make peace between President Sirisena and former President Rajapaksa?
A: I don’t know. One was repeatedly attacking. The other appears to be sympathetic and visiting the temples.

? Will Gotabaya Rajapaksa contest under the new political alliance?
A: I have no idea.

? Do you believe in astrology?
A: Not a strong believer.

? Havent astrologers told you that you have the chance to be king?
A: They did not even tell me that I would be jailed.

13 Responses to “SLFP already split – Basil”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    Yes, Indeed …. the SLFP is already split.

    Even if it was not, what use is a SLFP collaborating with the UNPatriotic party to the patriotic masses who traditionally supported the SLFP? NONE WHATSOEVER!

    So, FORM a NEW PARTY ….. perhaps called the DESHAPREMI SLFP … and take command of the situation NOW!

    With such a new party, you will ATTRACT most RANK & FILE SLFP’ers and give them a patriotic home, and

    it will also IMMEDIATELY CAPTURE the position of the LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION in Parliament , ousing that SEPARATIST TRAITOR Sampanthan of the TNA. No longer will he be able to host foreign dignitaries as the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament!

    DO IT NOW, GODDAMIT!

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    Yes, Sirisena should build hospitals at all prisons.

    Soon, there will be more people in prison than there are outside, and all of them will be in the prison hospitals.

    To get medical treatment either committ a crime or be engaged in opposition politics!

    Yamapalanaya ….. did you say?

  3. Dilrook Says:

    Sirisena has successfully prevented the Joint Opposition from forming a new political party. A huge victory for him and Chandrika.

    We don’t need anymore “forces”. What is needed is a registered political party. No one seems to have the courage to do it.

    It is a tragedy as the JO continues to be at the mercy of the SLFP led by Chandrika and Sirisena. Even UNP is said to be a puppeteer of the SLFP. Although Weerawansa once again, for the tenth time, threatened to form a new party, it is suffering from procrastination (“balagiri doshaya”) for more than a year now. Only he seems to be keen on that. Mahinda seems to be on an European tour around the time of the SLFP convention than remain in the country and deliberately avoid it to indicate the new party he may belong to.

    These moves indicate the inability of the JO and it will cost it the victory at the next national election. Sirisena, Chandrika and their close associates in the SLFP have made it very clear they will never allow Rajapaksas and minor parties of the UPFA to leadership positions. They are just wasting their time hoping that things will change.

    Sirisena knows it will be the end of him, his SLFP and Chandrika if the JO forms into a registered party. That’s why he made vile threats against it. This is a golden opportunity to do what he fears most. Knowing the ground support is severely waning for the SLFP, Sirisena will have to stop supporting anti-national moves by the UNP.

    The JO must organise into a registered party soon. There is plenty of work to be done to organise to face a national election due in 3 years from now. As per changed constitution, the next presidential election is due by late 2019, which is just 3 years away. SLFP’s presidential candidate will be Sirisena, Vimukthi, Duminda Disanayaka or even Ranil (if they remain conjoined as in January 2015). That is a given. Hoping for a change of heart and remaining in the SLFP is cowardice and disaster. The JO must register their own party and start organising themselves now.

    Contrary to Sirisena’s threats, JO MPs don’t lose their parliamentary seats just by forming a new registered party. However, out of intense anger, his FCID, etc. will cause these MPs to illegally lose their seats. That has no impact on the new party or the nation. The JO as a parliamentary group has been extremely weak. They failed to defeat the budget, OMP bill, remove Finance Minister, the Foreign Minister and the Prime Minister. Without the JO, there are 174 MPs in parliament and that is more than 2/3. If removed from parliament, they can full time engage in building the new party from scratch! Of course, they lose their perks but people and country can’t care less.

    Sirisena did contest from an ad-hoc party and won in 2015 but that was thanks to the UNP, ITAK, SLMC, ACMC and JVP – five well established parties supporting him. They had their grassroots level to national and even international level networks. The JO does not have even district or electorate organisers. No established major party will support the JO. So the two cannot be compared.

    Nationalists and patriots must not rely on the JO to save the nation and the people until and unless they form into a registered political party and declare them to be its members. There is nothing 51 seats in parliament can do (as we have always seen) and without forming a new party now, these MPs have no chance of winning the next election either. SWRD Bandaranaike took a bold step to form his own party in 1951 and won 5 years later.

    The SLFP not just divided, it is dead.

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    Dilrook,

    Thank you! You have explained clearly the LOGIC behind why the JO must form a new party NOW! There is much work to be done between now and the next elections!

    There is NOTHING to GAIN and EVERYTHING to LOSE by DELAYING!

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    “We don’t need anymore “forces”. What is needed is a registered political party.”
    “There is NOTHING to GAIN and EVERYTHING to LOSE by DELAYING!”

    COMPLETELY FALSE assessment.

    This is NOT what MR, etc. should do.

    Please take a look at elections since 1947.

    Except 1956, ONLY OLD ESTABLISHED PARTIES won. IF MR camp forms a new political party, it will LOSE. You need GRASSROOTS level up national level support. You can’t take these for granted. Over the years, thanks to corruption, SLFP and UNP have very strong grassroots level support. This cannot be BUILT easily.

    What MR camp should do ——> TAKE BACK THE SLFP from My3 by hook or by crook.

    1956 was an EXCEPTION. SWORD-B promised SINGHALA ONLY in 24 hours and MOST Singhalese voted for him. NO ONE can come up with such an ATTRACTIVE slogan today. IF MR comes with such an attractive slogan today, then YES I wholeheartedly support. Otherwise NO.

    Stay in the SLFP and take party leadership from My3.

    You have to ACTUALLY get involved in elections to realize how CRUCIAL it is to have a WELL LAID OUT party network. You go to ANY town (even in the north and east, upcountry, Colombo City, etc.) and you HAVE organizers and BUDDING organizers who want to do a better job. You RELY on those losers to do all the work. IF you don’t have them, you can’t do work.

    I know patriots are IMPATIENT and FEAR what these losers might do next. But rushing into a new party is not the way.

    Why do you think BR and MR are NOT forming a new party? It is VERY EASY to register a new party. SL has 50+ registered parties. They KNOW without the WELL LAID OUT SLFP party INFRASTRUCTURE, you cannot win important elections.

    Wimal, Udaya, Dinesh and Vasu want a new party because they cannot win a seat OUTSIDE Colombo district (and outside Ratnapura for Vasu). They have NOTHING to lose. MR should NOT do it.

    SLFP losers that worship My3 now are opportunists. WHEN MR becomes the party leader, they will worship MR.

    So please, NO MORE new parties, just take over the SLFP from My3.

  6. plumblossom Says:

    It is high time that a new political party is created. The symbol can be the ‘mal pohottuwa’ as just prior to the general election, a new political party was registered under this symbol. All those SLFPers who are totally fed up with this treacherous yahapalayana government can then join this new political party.

    It is best to do this as soon as possible in order to get ready for the local government elections, to counter the treacherous OMP Act, to counter VAT increases, to counter the low prices offered to rice farmers, tea growers, rubber growers, to counter any attempt to provide any more powers to provincial councils than they have at present especially police, land or fiscal powers and any attempt to change the unitary status of the country via unwanted constitutional changes, to counter the signing of ETCA, to counter the building of the Hanuman Bridge, to counter the wide ranging privatization of state assets programme of the UNP, to ensure that no Sri Lankan Forces member is harassed by setting up of hybrid courts or even domestic courts etc.

    Unless a new party is formed now, all those people opposed to this treacherous yahapalanaya government will have nowhere to turn and nowhere to go and if the disaffected SLFPers do not take up this opportunity to form a new party, others definitely will.

  7. Nimal Says:

    I remember he telling me that he trust a person who take a shot and I agree and drink to it.Cheers!

  8. Ananda-USA Says:

    Oi, Lorenzo!

    Still trying to keep the Patriots under the thumb of YOUR “Maru Sira” eh?

    Don’t upset the EELAMIST applecart with the Yamspalanaya govt in power until they get their EELAM perhaps?

    This is why I say that you are a Kotiya in a sheepskin biding your time to mislead PATRIOTS again!

    Obviously, capturing the lost leadership of the SLFP is the better thing to do, but it is not POSSIBLE given Sirisena’s control of the party leadership, and his ability to BRIBE them with Govt JOBS and Govt money.

    So, HOW do you propose to extract the existing SLFP from under Sirisena?

    As they say FAILED DICTU, DIFFICULT FACTU (Easy to say, Hard to do)!

    We are BEYOND waiting for fairy tales to happen; like Dilrook said, we must appeal to the RANK & FILE SLFP voter, and get his support just like SWRD Bandaranaike did when he broke away from the UNP to form the SLFP.

    Will that cause some more problems in the short term by making the UNP the most powerful party? YES, but they will have 3 years in which to organize the voter base. Right now, concerned voters are leaderless without a patriotic party to vote for.

    Can bad things happen wrt to new legislation in the meantime? They may, but with the Yamapalanaya 2/3 majority BAD THINGS ARE HAPPENING NOW!

    If a new PATRIOTIC party is formed, the VOTERS will flock to it, but the SLFP MP’s greedy for their perks may not, and the election will be needed to unseat them 3 years from now.

    Right now, there is NO HOPE that the SLFP MP’s can be made to defect en-masse.

    So, unless you have some SURE FIRE IDEAS on how to recapture the SLFP from Sirisena, you should quit spinning fairy tales.

    In short, PUT UP or SHUT UP!

  9. Ananda-USA Says:

    Oops!

    That should read: FACILE DICTU, DIFICILE FACTU!

  10. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    MAHINDA PUBLICLY DECLARES THAT HE WILL NOT FORM A NEW PARTY. WHERE ARE WE NOW ???

    MY TWO CENTS WORTH IS, THOSE WHO WANTED NEW PARTY, GO COMPLETELY INDEPENDANT. CONTEST AS INDEPENDANT CANDIDATES. THERE IS A POSSIBILTY THAT THEY WILL ACT AS FROGS. Ha Ha HAAAA.

  11. S.Gonsal Says:

    MR+Basil+Namal will form a party if they can win, and they won’t because they know they cannot win.

    Lorenzo’s argument is perfectly correct, but he missed the most important point.

    Actually MR can come back again after forming a new party. How ?

    DO something like 1956.

    It should be “Sinhalaya Avadiveyav” party. He should promise what he failed to do, that is to completely get rid of Tamil Cancer ! He should not do this with Namal’s dancing parties and Basil’s 10% parties. He cannot do this with the advices from “Bahu Agamika”, Multicultural ParAMPARAVA HE HAD MADE.

  12. Lorenzo Says:

    That is correct SW.

    MR will NOT leave the SLFP. He is the MOST EXPERIENCED politician in parliament. We must respect his experience. He KNOWS he cannot win without the SLFP.

    Yes, those who want to go separately should go.

    S. Gonsal,

    MR CANNOT do a 1956.
    1956 = SINHALA ONLY.

    Can MR do that? Certainly not. Agree about NR. He is still not fitting to the VOTE BANK of the JO. They don’t like fast cars, baila dancing, rugby, body building, multi-cultural, etc. We can call them fools, backward people or whatever but that will only WORSEN the situation. UNP voters are different. They LOVE fast cars, baila dancing, rugby, body building, multi-cultural, etc.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    BTW I will give trolls the silent treatment.

  13. S.Gonsal Says:

    MR yet to challenge Idiotic president on “secrets”. He should have challenged directly to him ” OK, you expose if you can ” than going Vahen Oro.
    Who care about SLFP and families and individuals and who said what ? Please talk about Sri Lanka ! Please talk about dangers we are facing. Come straight , come clean or apologise for REAL mistakes and make a new beginning with a brand new REAL NATIONALIST party, without and Tamil, Muslim , Catholic , Christian , Hindu support unless they offer it unconditionally.

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