Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is yet to make a final decision on his attendance at the 65th Convention of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), scheduled to be held on September 4.
A formal invitation was handed over to Rajapaksa by Minister W D J Seneviratne at Rajapaksa’s Mirihana residence. However even though the former President had accepted the invitation, he has still not decided whether to attend the convention, which will be held under the patronage of his one-time confidante turned political rival, incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena.
Incidentally, the convention will be held in Kurunegala, which is Rajapaksa’s constituency. He contested last August’s Parliamentary Election from the Kurunegala district, ditching his home constituency, Hambantota.
Both, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chandrika Kumaratunga who are former Presidents are senior patrons of the SLFP.
Meanwhile, several SLFP local government representatives has said they will boycott the convention if it is held under the patronage of Sirisena. Citing reasons for their decision, the representatives including former Pradeshiya Sabha chairmen said that Sirisena had taken the leadership of SLFP by force from Rajapaksa, and therefore they do not recognize him as the president of the party.