Prez engineers more defections: Udaya sounds warning to JO
Posted on December 11th, 2017

By Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island

Deputy Leader of the breakaway JVP faction National Freedom Front (NFF) parliamentarian Weerakumara Dissanayake yesterday received SLFP membership from President and SLFP leader Maithripala Sirisena.

Former MP and Chairman of NFF Piyasiri Wijenayake and North Central Province PC member P. B. Kumara, too, received SLFP membership.

Anuradhapura District MP Dissanayake switched his allegiance to President Sirisena close on the heels of another UPFA MP Sriyani Wijewickrema belonging to Mahajana Eksath Peramuna representing the Digamadulla electoral district deserting the JO.

A senior spokesperson for the NFF yesterday told The Island that the party was confident Dissanayake’s move wouldn’t cause a major problem.


The NFF parliamentary group originally comprised five members, Wimal Weerawansa, Weerakumara Dissanayake, Padma Udaya Shantha, Niroshan Premaratne and Jayantha Samaraweera.

The NFF official said that the party would field candidates under the banner of Podujana Peramuna in all districts except in the North and Batticaloa.

Meanwhile, Pivithuru Hela Urumaya leader MP Udaya Gammanpila lashed out at the coalition for creating a situation that led to MP Wijewickrema quitting the JO. Addressing the media at PHU office at Pita Kotte, Gammanpila said that Wijewickrema was the only woman MP to address their inaugural rally at Nugegoda on Feb 18, 2015. Unfortunately, the way she had been treated at meetings of the Digamadulla nominations committee finally led to her move, MP Gammanpila alleged.

Gammanpila quoted MP Wijewickrema as having told Ampara District leaders last Saturday at the final meeting of the nominations board that even a killing could take place unless issues could be settled amicably. Emphasizing that he under no circumstances endorsed MP Wijewickrema’s demands pertaining to nominations, the MP said that she should have been given an opportunity to present her case.

Gammanpila claimed that former MP and NFF member Jayantha Wijesekera, too, had joined the SLFP as he was deprived of an opportunity to discuss problems for three days. Had the leadership addressed Wijesekera’s concerns, he wouldn’t have abandoned the JO, he said.

Declaring that his party would field candidates in 13 districts, MP Gammanpila said that he had recently clashed with UPFA heavyweight MP Bandula Gunawardena to ensure justice for another party. Gammanpila said the issue arose over allocation of time and space at meetings in the Homagama electorate.

Gammanpila said he didn’t want to name those responsible for the situation as such discourse could cause more desertions.

The PHU leader warned of dire consequences unless all parties reached consensus on nominations and prevent their members switching allegiance simply on the basis of not receiving nominations. The MP said the Podujana Peramuna was really struggling to accommodate requests as the outfit was overwhelmed with prospective candidates.

One Response to “Prez engineers more defections: Udaya sounds warning to JO”

  1. ranjit Says:

    Mahinda should stand firm and strong in all issues concerning the JO. He is the leader people trust not others. He should treat his people fairly and squarely without wavering. He should not forget the leaders who brought him back to the stage. Weerawansa, Gamampila,Dinesh, Vasu and others contribute in many ways to make up the JO therefore Mahinda must listen to them not to his brothers and sisters like in the past. He has to guide his team intelligently and fairly. Ordinary folks like Mahinda very much that’s a fact. He should not let down the ordinary people by taking bad decisions. Be straightforward and think of the country first than the votes of the traitors to the Motherland. Sinhala buddhists must trust Mahinda only not any other leader. He is the man for the Sinha buddhists as well as other minorities who really loves this nation without demanding sun and the moon both. Vote for pohottuwa to go forward.

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