27 November, 2020

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Sirisena To Stay Away From Party Politics Despite Holding SLFP Leadership

Despite taking over the reins of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, President Maithripala Sirisena will strive to maintain his independence from partisan politics as he races to fulfill his 100 day pledges.

President Maithripala Sirisena

President Maithripala Sirisena

Sources close to the new President told Colombo Telegraph that while there were fears about the SLFP switching loyalties to President Sirisena and how it would impact the new ruling coalition, he would try to remain above the political fray.

President Sirisena will not participate in political meetings or campaign events and will play a caretaker role during the Parliamentary election scheduled once the process of constitutional reform is completed.

Sources close to President Sirisena said the incumbent was keenly aware of how his ascent to power was engineered by parties like the UNP and the JHU and the other civil society and academic forces that rallied around him.

These stakeholders provided Candidate Sirisena with their party machinery, personnel and expertise to propel him to victory in last week’s election, the sources said. While Candidate Sirisena insisted throughout the campaign that he remained the legitimate General Secretary of the SLFP, the fact was that his rise to power was a result of every other political and civic minded force in Sri Lanka, other than the SLFP, his own party. The exceptions to this rule were the SLFP members who crossed over to support his candidature and joined hands with the UNP and other coalition allies to work for his victory, the sources explained. Sirisena became an attractive candidate to the electorate precisely because he was able to shed his affiliations and bring together different political and non-political forces to work together for his victory, the sources said.

The UNP has expressed fears that President Sirisena taking over the SLFP could make Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe‘s position in the Government vulnerable. However, persons with insight into the new President’s personality insist that Sirisena is not an ungrateful or petty man.

While some remain fearful, other political observers say there is hope for bipartisanship in parliament as there never has been before. The 2015 presidential election was remarkable in that both the UNP and SLFP party activists worked in cooperation during the campaign at the village level, proving that there was space for these two parties to cohabitate in power.

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Latest comments

  • 6
    2

    There are obvious risks involved for the democratic process just started if the President gets involved in SLFP politics again. The reason being that main obstacles came from that organization during the last ten years. Those have to be rectified through due process without party bias. It might be ok for him to be the SLFP President (as an Umpire) to prevent the organization succumbing again to the Rajapaksas or other cronies. However he was elected by a common opposition, the UNP and other parties and organizations taking a leading role. He can best be a Common President for all parties and all peoples since a National Government is the objective. But after changing the presidential system and even before he should best be a non-partisan President.

    • 7
      11

      Only a bankrupt “political scientists”, not real politicains with field experience, will suggest that MY3 “be the SLFP President (as an Umpire)”.

      The party constitution specifies the duties of the party president and that does not say anything about being an “umpire”. The whole idea is to work to strengthen and nourish the party as the long term natural party of power as it has been since 1994.

      The UNP and its local and overseas based henchmen wold conspire to weaken the SLFP because that is the only way for them even to think of winning power again.

      The UNP is naturally a relict of a bygone era and the SLFP is the natral choice of the Sanga, Veda, Guru, Govi, Kamkaru, forces of Sri Lanka.

      The UNP can enjoy the PM amd ministerial jobs they got for the 100 days. The parliament will revert to natural business after the elections, with a SLFP controlled president and parliament.

      Bye bye Ranil W, Rajiv W, and Ruwan W family firm.

      • 2
        0

        Sri Lanka has had TOO MANY ELECTIONS that distract from the main issues and once the 100 day program is implemented the current government should remain until its term ends in April 2016 – as the Election Commissioner had noted.

        It would be best for the COUNTRY if the current government were to stay till the end of its term in April 2016 AFTER implementing the 100 day program and making sure it works and is sustainable.

        Elections are a circus and distract from the longer term pressing issues like TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE that need to be undertaken over a year, rather than in 3 months.
        It would be good if the current regime were to reconsider its pledge to have a general election this year and instead focus on consolidating good governance and transitional justice in Sri Lanka. This however cannot be done in 3 months and I beleive that the general public and civil society would support the current govt to run its full term till April 2016, if it does deliver on its 100 day program. This would be in the best interest of Sri Lanka

        • 0
          0

          I totally agree with Don Stanley. First legally the current Government could stay till April 2016 before holding another elections. 100 day program is good to change the Constitution and all other issues.

          Second people are tired with endless elections which also drains valuable time and resources.

          It is a dream for UPFA to come into power once all the corrupt Politicians are brought into books, while TNA and Muslim Parties support UNP. Also short term elections effect our economic standing and foreign investments.

          Therefore let’s give little more time for the new Government to function.

  • 11
    0

    The experiment done in our country is unique. It needs broad minded people and honesty for the betterment of the country. Every country experimenting on democracy should have a way which look into the aspirations of the people. That’s why so many countries failed in this endeavor. You cant force western democracy in Africa. There the society is still ruled by clans.And we cant follow Singapore. It has a small land mass and the rule with an iron fist will not work in our country. Though Singapore is ruled by a family and it has its own share of corruption the wealth is spread to the masses to a satisfactory level. And there are other factors in that country which we can adopt for the betterment of our country.
    The challenge for the new government is immense. Stopping family rule, retirement age for politicians, freedom of information act,banning of using religion and language for political gain,Advanced Level qualifications to enter politics for starters, Sri Lankan University or recognised uni Degree to become a minister,Panel of independent experts question and select ministers from a list given by the president or PM,get international help to bring back all the horded money by any Sri Lankan since Independence in tax havens are some of the challenges this govt faces.
    For an example a thug in the upcountry whose support was not used by the present president is trying to get to the govt by the back door. He owed and owes money to the National Airline. Each time he gave support to previous governments the money owed by him were forgotten.This is one drop in an ocean of corrupt politicians. This is where investigative journalists would have to play a role. Even this fellas relations live in an apartment in Col 7. From my investigation they have not paid the rent for this apartment for years. This is the sorry state of our country. The list goes on.

  • 6
    0

    HE MS should remain as Chairman of the SLFP until the conclusion of 100-day program. Thereafter (Hon)WW and the representatives of paralyzed left may have to decide on their future with the SLFP.

  • 2
    0

    Will Karuna a.k.a Muralitharan, continue to function as Vice President of SLFP?
    His counterpart Pillayan a.k.a Chandrakanthan has gone into ‘hibernation’ ever since the election.
    Visit Battinews –

  • 0
    9

    Lets wait and see how MY3 will please the minority groups and the minority Sinhala voters to keep their support. History tells us that nothing will keep the Tamil voters happy unless they are given dispropotionately higher priviledges than the Sinhalese and Muslims. Then, it only requires a 2% swing from the Sinhalese/Muslims who voted for MY3 to vote against him. Not to forget that he now has to manage some corrupt MPs who crossed over, and others within the UNP – the left overs from past corrupt era now enjoying immunity from prosecution. He is not in good company, I doubt he will see the end of the 100th day in office.

    • 3
      0

      “History tells us that nothing will keep the Tamil voters happy unless they are given dispropotionately higher priviledges than the Sinhalese and Muslims.”
      Care to give us, the curious readers, an elaborate reasoning on why you make a claim? Would prefer a few examples from your history book on post-Bandaranaike Sri Lanka of such demands for preferential treatment being requested.

      • 0
        0

        VVS

        “Care to give us, the curious readers, an elaborate reasoning on why you make a claim?”

        Lal loo will have to seek the assistance of the habitual liar and well known plagiarist OTC.

        Bear with him.

  • 2
    1

    Dr Laksiri Fernando’s position makes sense. If we are to get out of the rot that has eaten into all aspects of society, the urgent need is a united effort. The present coalition that has brought together parties ranging from the JHU to the TNA is an astonishing prioritization of the national interest above partisan interest. We must leave no stone unturned to foster this coalition and if possible expand it. In this context, the JVP’s position of supporting a national interest based coalition while maintaing its separate identity is commendable.

    The triumph achieved in the recent election is as great as its ideals are vulnerable, especially to the machiavellian manipulations of the defeated regime and its tentacles of evil. It is therefore indispensable that not only do we foster the national interest by means of preserving the existing coalition, but seriously consider the establishment of a national government for an extended period, until good governance in its fullest sense is integrally woven into to the social fabric, and the economy is placed on a healthy footing with tangible improvement in the standard of living of the people.

  • 4
    0

    Dear Mr President

    Thank you so much for having the guts to challenge Mahinda Rajapaksa to the presidency, even though it might have been dangerous for yourself and your family, at a time when he so arrogantly thought no one would.

    Please maintain your stance on being independent from partisan politics.

    Sir, you now have the mandate, please choose wisely, eradicate the rot. Please include educated, rational people from all parties, races and religions. We are so excited about our beautiful Sri Lanka’s future under you.

  • 1
    1

    The judgements given regarding political cross overs has become a cancer eating away at the Sovereignty of the People. The so called peoples representatives have been selling their souls for Lucre. This cancer needs to be surgically removed as a priority.

    The present difficulty the President Mr. Maithripala Sirisena and the PM Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe is experiencing in limiting their Cabinet is a direct result of the law on political crossovers.

    In order to prevent a party leader keeping the peoples’ representative captive, room for a conscience vote against the bill under discussion, should be allowed. However in order to prevent the perpetuation of the current state of affairs the governing party or (coalition) MP who votes against the govt should automatically lose his/her seat in Parliament soon after the bill that s/he votes against goes through Parliament. S/he should face a by election held within a stipulated time, to get approval of his/her actions from the Sovereign, which is the people.

    It should also be made constitutionally possible to hold any Manifesto as a legally binding contract between the people and the party collectively (and the elected MP’s individually). Then any person can take any elected or appointed MP to court for contravening this contract between the People and the elected representative. If found guilty the party should be given time (stipulated by law) to remedy the situation. If the party still fails, the govt should be declared a Caretaker Govt, and parliament dissolved. Elections should be held within a stipulated time frame to elect a new govt.

    The above two measures suitably modified if required will give real meaning to the Sovereignty of the People.

    I believe MS as the president of the SLFP will transform the politics of that party to one of consensual politics from the previous confrontational politics. I believe that he intends to clean up the party by giving nominations for the coming general election to people of integrity.

    Those who voted this govt to power did so transcending Ethnicity, Religion and party politics for one reason. Establishment of the Rule of Law, Democracy and Elimination of Corruption. I trust that the party leaders of this govt will honour the commitment given to the people to the letter and heed the message that was given them so powerfully by the electorate.

    That message is very clear, give us a country where her people can live with respect and without fear where each of us are equal before the Law from the President downwards. The patience of the people will remain till the next General Election around June, as long as they see progress on the 100 day program. The people has also shown that defaulting on the promises will not be acceptable and that they will vote them out as quickly as they were voted in.

    Kind Regards,
    OTC

  • 0
    0

    HE MS cannot take part in any election campaign or activities as it is illegal, because he is the President of all parties and all communities and all people – and not just the SLFP. As Pesident SLFP he will be a member of the selection panel of the nomination committee for the SLFP/UPFA. It is up to this committee t0 give nominations to the young, educated and unsullied members to contest in the next crucial election. If SLFP is to win, they will have to drop the Ethanol / Kudu Ministers, corrupt and the thugs away. Same goes to the UNP. There is a great wave towards the JVP as their are right now doing the right thing. After watching the progress of the 100 days programme, The JVP, JHU,& DNF will definitiely support RW, whatever they may say now. AND that would be the right thing to do, as it was Ranil and if not for Ranil there would not be this wenasa today by HE MS.

    • 0
      1

      Dear Humbug,

      Re as it was Ranil and if not for Ranil there would not be this wenasa today by HE MS.

      The people who risked their lives and possibly the lives of their families are those who came out of the MR govt in the initial stages including Hirunika. Without MS RW would be the opposition leader today and not the PM.

      This was a collective effort not an individual one. Everyone had a part in the victory.

      Kind Regards
      OTC

  • 1
    0

    “Sirisena To Stay Away From Party Politics Despite Holding SLFP Leadership”

    Of Course, any President should put our beloved Sri Lanka above the ‘Impermanent’ Party.

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