President Maithripala Sirisena has taken a tough stand against a group of dissident Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) MP’s who are planning to sit in the opposition warning them that even though they have more MP’s than the TNA the group will not be given the opposition leaders post.
Sirisena has emphasised that the TNA leader R. Sampanthan will continue to be the opposition leader in parliament.
Around 30 Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) parliamentarians who are against the national government created by their party and the United National Party (UNP) had met the President yesterday to convey their decision to sit in the opposition.
An offended Sirisena had told the group that he would inform the SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake about those who wish to sit with the opposition.
Earlier over 30 SLFP MP’s had held talks with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, according to reliable sources.
According to an MP from this group they will act as a separate group in parliament.
The Kalutara district SLFP MP Kumara Welgama is tipped to be the leader of this SLFP dissident faction which will operate with the blessings of Rajapaksa.
However, according to the MP, Welgama will be only a figurehead as the true leader of this rebel SLFP faction will be Rajapaksa.
The leaders of other UPFA affiliated parties such as Wimal Weerawansa, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Dinesh Gunewardena and Udaya Gammanpila too will support this group.