Just days since a declaration by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa that he will return to rule the country, several members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) are scheduled to meet on Monday for a crucial discussion. The meeting also comes in the wake of a statement by the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera who has declared that toppling the coalition government by anyone is nothing but a dream. He made this statement this week while addressing an event in Kalpitiya.
Amaraweera, who is also the Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development said, “It is nothing but a dream of some who says they will topple the government in 2017.” He added that all the parties in the government were committed to continue the vision and ensure the government remains in power till the next general election in 2020.
Despite Amaraweera’s statement, several senior members of the SLFP including ministers are set to meet next week, for what is described as a ‘crucial meeting to discuss the current political situation in the country and the situation within the government.’
The meeting also comes amidst claims by the Joint Opposition that several SLFPers will join their group in the coming weeks.
These developments come just days since Rajapaksa vowed to topple the Yahapalanaya Government in 2017 and reclaim power. Speaking to foreign journalists, Rajapaksa said that there will be a ‘change’ in the future, and even though he is not looking to become President, he hinted at the possibility of becoming Prime Minister.
Incidentally, Amaraweera, a former ally of Mahinda Rajapaksa was also the deal broker between Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa, following the latter’s defeat at the 2015 Presidential Election, resulting in Sirisena being able to take on the reins of the SLFP leadership from Rajapaksa. This was revealed in a book authored by SLFP parliamentarian Malith Jayathilake, titled “The January 8th Revolution: As I Have Seen It”, which contained inside information on the ‘Change’ which overthrew Rajapaksa from the Presidency.