The Rajapaksa Faction of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has announced that it will boycott the 65th convention of the SLFP which will be held in Kurunegala on Sunday under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena.
Announcing the group’s decision, Parliamentarian Dullas Alahapperuma said that the decision was taken not because the group had any animosity towards President Sirisena, but this was the group’s attempt to try and redirect the SLFP to the correct path. “This is a decision that we took simply because we have a political issue, there is no other issue,” he added.
Speaking at a press conference in Battaramulla, Alahapperuma said that during meetings in several electorates including Kesbewa, Homagama, Peliyagoda, Minuwangoda and Weligama a unanimous decision was reached that the MPs with Rajapaksa should boycott the SLFP celebrations in Kurunegala.
“There were three reasons to reach this decision, one is that the SLFP is slowly turning into a UNP branch, the other is that there is an organized conspiracy to discredit and attack former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is the 5th leader of the SLFP and the third reason is that with our decision we are trying to redirect the SLFP back to the correct path,” he said.
“We don’t want the SLFP to be turned into a political branch of the UNP,” Alahapperuma added.
Rajapaksa also decided to duck out of the convention, claiming that he was invited for the Asia Pacific Parliamentarians’ Union convention and therefore he will be in Malaysia during the event.