SLF National Organizer and former Minister Duminda Dissanayake said the Rajapaksa-led SLPP should not have any hesitation to accept Maithripala Sirisena as their Presidential candidate for the next election, as the latter did not have any qualms about appointing Mahinda Rajapaksa as his Prime Minister.
In an interview with the Sunday Observer newspaper today, Dissanayake said, “The President had the courage to appoint the person who contested against him as the Prime Minister, which many party men hailed. The former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said, if he was the President he wouldn’t have done that. I think there is no reason for the SLPP to oppose to reelect the person who made a big sacrifice on behalf of the party and the country, as President. I think the SLPP would accept this, and if not, it is a problem.”
“I don’t think there is any opposition from anybody for the SLFP and the SLPP joining hands. But, there will be debates and arguments. The SLFP is one of the oldest parties in the country. The SLPP is a newly formed party but all those in it are SLFPers. Therefore, debates and arguments will arise until a consensus is reached between the two parties. We hope there won’t be any obstacle for the two parties to join hands. But we categorically state that if this happens, Maithripala Sirisena should be our next Presidential Candidate,” the SLFP MP added.
During the interview, Dissanayake denied rumours that an SLFP group, led by him, would join the UNP-led government. ” We have not taken any such decision. As the former coalition partner of the Government, we proposed that the SLFP should remain in the Government. We believe as SLFPers, we should remain in the party. Since inception, we said that if we want to align with anybody, we should do so only as a party. Otherwise, we should act alone by preserving our party identity”
The SLFP National Organizer also expressed disappointment with the conduct of whom he termed “senior politicians” of Sri Lanka. “Our future has been blackened because of the unfortunate decisions of our senior politicians. Even today, the same senior politicians are dragging this issue, which will ruin the country’s future. Instead of creating a fear psychosis, any concerns about the new Constitution should be clarified through consultations on the draft.
Both, the 1972 and 1978 Constitutions were drafted to suit the requirements of the day. A new Constitution which provides solutions to the country’s problems is what we need. We don’t need to copy the words used in the 1948, 1972 or 1978 Constitutions.”