Presidential election: SLFP stance after talks between President Maithripala Sirisena and SLPP and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa
Posted on August 6th, 2019

Sandun A Jayasekera Courtesy The Daily Mirror

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) stance on the presidential election will be decided after the second round of discussions between President Maithripala Sirisena and SLPP and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara said today.

The two leaders met on Monday night. I can’t disclose what transpired at the discussion because they are expected to meet again shortly. I believe the two parties will be in a position to come to an understanding on the position to be taken on the presidential election,” he said. “The talks held between the SLFP and the SLPP have made steady progress. The SLFP Central Committee has requested them to have another discussion before finalizing a common programme.”

The MP said SLFP members would never join the SLPP and that the SLFP had several alternatives other than the SLPP and UNP. “The SLFP is not me or someone else. We have a huge membership. Any political party which needs our support must agree to our policies and work programme,” he said. We cannot win the presidential election only by fielding a candidate. We need to pool the support of all anti-UNP forces and minorities. The SLFP is not a racist party which has been formed by uniting all communities.”

MP Nimal Siripala De Silva said the SLFP would not support the UNP nor any candidate linked to it but support the candidate who contests against the UNP. The SLFP would disclose a few important decisions on September 3 at its annual convention at the Sugathadasa Indoor stadium.

We will never support the UNP. However, we are concerned with the current political situation in the country and will take a pragmatic decision,” the MP said.

Responding to a journalist, he said the SLFP had not received an invitation to participate in the SLPP convention. (

7 Responses to “Presidential election: SLFP stance after talks between President Maithripala Sirisena and SLPP and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    2019 prez poll: Mahinda to take over SLPP before declaring Gotabaya’s candidature
    August 5, 2019, 10:15 pm

    By Shamindra Ferdinando

    Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Kurunegala District UPFA lawmaker will accept the leadership of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) on Sunday (Aug.11) before declaring Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s candidature for the 2019 presidential election.

    The presidential election is scheduled to take place between late Nov and early Dec, 2019.

    Mahinda Rajapaksa received the SLPP membership from SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris on Nov 11, 2018 at his official residence at Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo. Mahinda Rajapaksa switched his allegiance to the SLPP as the Prime Minister close on the heels of the dissolution of parliament by President Maithripala Sirisena, but which was soon invalidated by a ruling of the Supreme Court.

    In addition to Mahinda Rajapaksa, the following UPFA lawmakers obtained SLPP membership: Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, C.B. Ratnayake, Janaka Bandara Tennakoon, Johnston Fernando, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Priyankara Jayaratne, Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Prasanna Ranatunga, Dulip Wijesekara, Janaka Wakkumbura, Namal Rajapaksa, Shehan Semasinghe, Thenuka Widanagamage, Arundika Fernando, Kanchana Wijesekara, Nimal Lanza, Indika Anuruddha, Prasanna Ranaweera, D.V. Chanaka, Anura Priyadarashana Yapa, T.B. Ekanayake, Chandima Weerakkody, Susantha Punchinilame, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Sumeda G. Jayasena, Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Tharanath Basnayake, Sanath Nishantha, Kanaka Herath, Gamini Lokuge, W.D.J. Senewiratna, Susil Premajayantha and Premalal Jayasekara, Wimalaweera Dissanayake and Lohan Ratwatte.

    Kandy District UNP parliamentarian Ananda Aluthgamage also joined the SLPP.

    The SLPP has reached an understanding with over 20 political parties and groups represented in parliament and outside in the run up to Aug 11 event.

    Addressing the media at SLPP Office at Nelum Mawatha, Battaramulla yesterday, Prof. Peiris said that the SLPP candidate would ensure national security, instill discipline, restore credibility, effective governance and be capable of upholding national pride.

    Prof. Peiris emphasized that the SLPP was the most powerful political force in the country. Paying a glowing tribute to the role played by Basil Rajapaksa in building up the SLPP in the run-up to Feb 2018 Local Government polls, Prof. Peiris said that the next national poll would prove the SLPP’s standing.

    Prof. Peiris compared the growing crisis experienced by the UNP in its coalition building exercise over disagreement among partners on their presidential candidate with the successful process undertaken by the Joint Opposition and the SLPP. The former External Affairs Minister explained that whatever their choice is the UNP led coalition would pursue current controversial strategies. “Don’t expect them to deviate from the policies that are being implemented now. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sajith Premadasa or Karu Jayasuriya will basically follow same policies,” Prof. Peiris asserted.

    Prof. Peiris and Sagara Kariyawasam will continue as Chairman and Secretary of the SLPP.

    Easter Sunday suicide bombings underscored Sri Lanka’s vulnerability, Prof. Peiris said adding that the minorities realized that they couldn’t depend on the current dispensation. The SLPP Chairman said that in the aftermath of the National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) terror strikes, the Muslim community sought the former President’s intervention as they felt the UNP government couldn’t cope up with the mega security crisis.

    Asked whether the SLPP could expect the Tamil community to vote for its candidate as the Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) led Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was certain to campaign against its candidate and throw its weight behind the UNP’s choice, Prof. Peiris said that the northern electorate couldn’t be taken for a ride this time. He said that those living in the Northern and Eastern provinces were aware the current dispensation did absolutely nothing in their areas after the change of government in January 2015. Prof. Peiris pointed out that the TNA, having backed the UNP both in and outside parliament owed an explanation as to why it couldn’t provide any fresh relief to the people. In fact, the TNA, by voting for Provincial Council Special Act No 17 of 2017 paved the way for the government to put off Provincial Council polls, Prof. Peiris said.

    The former law professor alleged that the TNA did nothing except for propagating lies about the armed forces.

    When The Island pointed out that ITAK leader and Jaffna District lawmaker Mavai Senadhiraja had declared in the north that the TNA wouldn’t back anyone proposed by Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Tamils suffered during the Rajapaksa rule, Prof. Peiris pointed out the TNA campaigned for General Sarath Fonseka at 2010 presidential election.

    Prof. Peiris said that whatever the directions issued by the TNA and the SLFP, in case a consensus couldn’t be reached with that party, the SLPP was confident the voters would act sensibly.

    The SLPP Chairman dismissed the possibility of the SLFP teaming up with the UNP under any circumstances. Responding to another query, Prof. Peiris said that the vast majority of those who had been elected on the UPFA ticket at the last general election would throw their weight behind the SLPP candidate. “Of course, all will take into consideration the parliamentary polls to follow.”

    The UPFA parliamentary group comprises 95 members. Of them, the majority function as the Joint Opposition – a grouping recognized by the Speaker.

    Meanwhile, political sources told The Island that though the SLPP and the SLFP about two weeks ago reached consensus that there should be one-on-one between President Sirisena and lawmaker Rajapaksa to decide on future course of action, the meeting was yet to take place. Sources said that it was not clear the proposed meeting would take place before the Aug 11 event.

  2. Dilrook Says:

    UNP convention on the 5th was a disaster. They failed to come to a conclusion on their presidential candidate.

    Mahinda may or may not select Gotabaya. The good thing about Gotabaya is he will definitely win if contests.

    From the national point of view, the bad side is he is only a Sinhala sectarian leader. He cannot win sufficient Tamil and Muslim votes to become a national leader. The south will embrace him well but the north, east, Nuwara Eliya and Colombo districts will reject him.

    From Mahinda’s point of view, the bad of Gotabaya includes the loss of minority votes even further for the Rajapaksa clan. As Namal and Rohitha are in politics, Mahinda will want someone who can retain or improve minority votes and Gotabaya is not that person. Mahinda is also worried about Namal 2024. If Gotabaya wins in 2019, there is no chance for Namal in 2024 – it will be either Gotabaya again or UNP. He is also aware of the hilarious situation of Rajapaksas owning president, prime minister and speaker posts. That will be a total dictatorship making the entire clan a hated one.

    Mahinda will consider all these with his political maturity and self interest. His choice will win the presidential election.

  3. Mario Perera Says:

    Gotabhaya is NOT the knight in the shining armour riding the white horse that people think he is. One of his biggest disqualifications to assume the presidency was his intimate association with a kingpin of the underworld: the criminal drug world – Deshamanya Duminda Silva. Just consider who was his ‘monitoring MP’ in the Ministry of Defence? It was Deshamanya Duminda Silva!

    ‘Deshamanya’ meaning pride of the nation, is the second highest national honour. How on earth such a man as Duminda was conferred with the prestigious ‘deshamanya’ title baffles every right thinking mind. It only goes to show the caliber of the highest power holders of this country. They are all what are called ‘eka malle pol’.
    Gota knew who he was associating with: an inveterate and renowned drug dealer and thug, a man with a highly condemnable criminal record. Why would this a hardened criminal become the ‘monitoring MP’ of such a presumed honourable man as Gota?

    Monitoring means ‘overseeing’. Duminda was, in other words overseeing Gota’s ministry!! What sort of monitoring this confirmed drug importer and dealer did under Gota leaves room for much speculation and suspicion. Yet more confounding is the issue as to how anything clean can come out of such an unclean association. We know what happens to people who sleep with dogs!

    Where this ‘honourable deshamanya’, this close associate of Gota, the monitoring MP of his ministry now is, is known to all. On September 8, 2016, he was sentenced to death by the High Court of Sri Lanka for the murder of Sri Lankan politician Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, a political rival. In that shoot-out Duminda himself was, it is said, greviously injured. On that occasion Gota pulled all his weight behind Duminda to get him to Singapore and even visited him there on several occasions. The link that bound them was much more that a close relationship.
    Duminda was later charged for murder and sentenced to death. His appeal was thrown away. He is now behind bars for good, no doubt waiting for Gota to become president and confer on him a presidential pardon. Such was Gota’s connection with a leading kingpin of the underworld.

    Apart from his political doings as a SLFPer – a party man and the right hand of his president brother, thoroughly involved in his deeds as well as misdeeds, there are other matters regarding him that can never be overlooked, and which will haunt him until justice is done one way or the other. These matters concern the assassinations and disappearances that occurred during his tenure as defense secretary.

    These matters directly concerned him and his ministry. If they occurred without his knowledge, then he was surely NOT a good defense secretary considering the heinous nature of those crimes. The white vans that plied our roads in search of prey did so under the open eyes of the police. It is impossible that they could have evaded his omnipresent spotlights.
    It will also be remembered how he drove several reputed journalists into exile with direct threats to life and limb. Such was the case of Frederica Janz whose articles irked Mahinda Rajapakse and his coterie of family holders of high office, particularly Gotabhaya.

    The tragic events referred to will never be obliterated from the nation’s mind, and will surface without end until light is shed on them and the wrong doers brought to book. There is even an ongoing case against him in the USA. The fact that Gota could eventually be voted in as president will not erase the accusations that hover over his head in this regard. They will be highlighted even more, nationally and internationally, and be a poisonous thorn in his side during an eventual presidency. Just consider how the crimes and felonies of Donald Trump are plaguing his presidency relentlessly, making a mockery of his office.

    That they are provable or not is not the matter. The matter is the accusations that are levelled at the holder of the highest office in the land about crimes that took place under his watch. Those accusations will prevent the moral legitimization of the eventual occupation of that exalted post. Indeed placing Gota on the president’s seat will be like seating him in a hornet’s nest of his own making, which will be to the immense detriment of the nation.

    Mario Perera, Kadawata

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    Mahinda should and will let Gota run for the Presidency and achieve landslide victories in the Presidential, Privincial and General Elections!

    Happily, the eternally PESSIMISTIC Dilrook is WRONG; minorities have NEVER supported the Sinhala Buddhist community in the past, but jaded as they are with the TNA and the SLMC whose separatist promises have delivered NOTHING to their communities but INCREASED ISOLATION, this time around minorities will support the SLPP and join hands with the Sinhala Buddhists as never before.

    That means that those FEW minority leaders who have allied themselves with the SLPP will WIN BIG, and the TNA and SLMC will LOSE SEATS in Parliament, and have NO MINISTRIES in the NEXT GOVERNMENT led by PATRIOTS!

    The Tamil and Muslim communities have a SIMPLE CHOICE TO MAKE:

    1. Continue to OPPOSE the Sinhala Buddhists in pursuit of their separatist agendas and LOSE EVERYTHING, or

    2. Join hands with the Sinhala Buddhists and Sinhala Christians and GAIN a PROPORTIONAL SHARE of the benefits that accrue equally to all Sri Lankan citizens.

    The INCURABLY COMMUNAL TNA and the SLMC, supporting the SEPARATIST agendas of the LTTE-led Tamil Diaspora, and the Conservative Wahhabi demanding a Sharia-Law State for themselves, will SINK DEEPER INTO the MUD! Wisdom is NOT THEIR STRONG SUIT!


  5. Randeniyage Says:

    Didn’t the Muslims already said they will side the wining candidate ? Kaaththankudi will be the capital of Eastern province soon. Unless we force and demand the wining god, whoever he is to remove 13a.

  6. vyasan Says:

    My prediction of the Sri Lankan political changes in the near future is as follows:

    Gotabhaya Rajapaksa will become the President while Mahinda Rajapaksa will be the Prime minister.
    Mother and daughter have been PM and President concurrently before and now the time has come for the two able brothers to serve the country as the PM and President! Also, a young member of the family will ( and should ) be in a key position, probably assigned as a minister of youth affairs and rural development. My advance congratulations for the above named individuals!

  7. Randeniyage Says:

    Let us get together and demand all candidates just two essentials for the time being.
    1. Getting rid of 13a
    2. Getting rid of many laws

    Please keep on demanding these two only- nothing else. Finally all get all of them to agree.
    This something we ALL can agree than disagreement on candidates, who will win, predicting who are the candidates – which is useless.
    Names will never bring us out of suffering, strong necessities will

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