Racism and religious extremism have no place in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga said at the commemoration of her father S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike’s death yesterday.
Addressing a crowd during the ceremonies to commemorate the former Sri Lankan Premier, Kumaratunga said that the pact signed between her father and Federal Party Leader, popularly known as the Banda-Chelva Agreement, went far beyond the power sharing provisions of the 13th Amendment.
“At that time, the Federal Party was asking for power sharing under a federal system,” she said.
“Nowadays they are speaking of too many powers in the 13th Amendment. The Banda-Chelva pact was willing to share power far more significantly than that,” the former President said.
The SLFP was started with the Bandaranayake vision, said Kumaratunga, adding that in these days various convoluted visions had been incorporated into the party.
“Of late various people claim their fathers created the SLFP along with my father – at that time I don’t think they were around,” she charged.
Defending her father’s controversial Sinhala Only Act, Kumaratunga said it was an attempt to uphold the rights of the majority that had been suppressed by European colonialists for hundreds of years. “He also brought the Tamil language bill at the same time. He had no intention to implement racist policies. But because he was assassinated, there was no way to enact that bill,” President Kumaratunga said.