Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the Opposition Leader’s post need not go to the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) in the event that the United National Party (UNP) forms a government on its own.
Responding to a question posed by a journalist at the weekly cabinet press briefing, Senaratne said ‘it is good to have a Tamil person as the Leader of the Opposition.’
He added that doing such things (like having an SLFPer as Opposition Leader) was like ‘JR Jayewardene removing Amirthalingam,’ which he claimed ended with Prabhakaran becoming the Leader of the Opposition.
While R Sampanthan of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is currently the Opposition Leader, he was appointed in a context where the UNP and SLFP formed a unity government where even those who opposed it (the Joint Opposition) were considered to be SLFPers and therefore technically not members of the Opposition.
However, if the UNP went solo, the SLFP would have the largest number of MPs outside the Government.