Colombo Telegraph

Remove Sirisena From Party Chairmanship: SLFP Rebels

Several Sri Lanka Freedom Party parliamentarians have openly called for the removal of President Maithripala Sirisena as the party chairman, noting that the SLFP will not be able to emerge victorious at future elections under his leadership.

Parliamentarians Lohan Ratwatte and Vidura Wickremanayake in two public forums yesterday had expressed similar feelings noting that Sirisena will not be able to lead SLFP to victory.

Wickremanayake speaking at a public event in Horana had said that if Sirisena had led the party at last general elections instead of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the party would not have got even 35 parliamentary seats.

Meanwhile Lohan Ratwatte had told a public event in Kandy that SLFP grassroots level members oppose the chairmanship of Sirisena as they believe that it was he who had ensured defeat of the SLFP by contesting against Rajapaksa at the last Presidential polls.

Ratwatte warned that around 50 SLFP parliamentarians who are displeased with the current path pursued by the party hierarchy were preparing to take a firm stand.

With a mutiny in the pipeline the new SLFP General Secretary, Duminda Dissanayake, a loyalist of Sirisena has sent a letter to all SLFP parliamentarians warning disciplinary action if MP’s participate in discussions or meetings without the consent of the party leadership.

Sirisena has called for an urgent meeting of the Central Committee on Tuesday and an Executive meeting on Tuesday in the backdrop of a rebellion against his leadership.

Meanwhile the UPFA parliamentarians loyal to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa have intensified their efforts to rope in more SLFP’ers to a common front which opposes both Sirisena and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.

This common front currently going as joint opposition is to come forward to contest the upcoming Local Authority polls as a separate party with Rajapaksa’s blessings.

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