The number of politicians who crossed over to the Maithripala faction backed by the common Opposition rose to a seven this morning as State Management Reforms Minister Navin Dissanayake resigned from his portfolio and from his position as the Nuwaraeliya district coordination committee Chairman and pledged support to the common opposition.
In a letter to the President notifying his resignation, MP Dissanayake had noted three reasons that led to his resignation to which includes the lack of scope to assist those who have voted and supported him, the need to join a movement that calls for the abolition of the Executive Presdiential system and the rampant corruption prevalent within the governance structure to which the top figures have turned a blind eye.
He joined the group of UPFA politicians who quit the coalition so far since former Minister and SLFP stalwart Maithripala Sirisena defected two weeks ago, along with former Ministers Rajitha Senaratne, Duminda Dissanayake, MKDS Gunewardena, MP Vasanatha Senanayake, UPFA MPs – Liberal party leader Rajiva Wijesinha, JHU leader Champika Ranawaka and Ven. Athuraliye Rathana, who were later joined by MPs Hunais Farook and P Rajadurai.
Meanwhile, recent speeches made by some of the SLFP members have indicated the continuation of the crossovers as evidenced by a very emotional statement made by Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon in Galewela.
“The SLFP is now a haven for ethanol and drug dealers. I am a clean SLFP-er. I voiced my greivances and of being sidelined to the President as well as his son Namal. But they all ignored my pleas. . .I repeatedly warned them of the unfortuante plight that has befallen this party today,” he had stated during a meeting today while crying for about five minutes.
Similar concerns have been expressed by few other SLFP members including Hirunika Premachandra who during a recent meeting had said that it is disconcerting to see the party breaking up.
“If this situation continues, all who would be left within the party would be drug dealers and thugs,” she had said.