President Maithripala Sirisena in his capacity as the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has sacked 13 members of the SLFP central Committee, according to party sources.
According to sources former Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratne and SLFP Senior Vice President Janaka Bandara Tennekoon are among those who have been sacked.
According to sources the President has appointed 13 new members to the SLFP CC with newly appointed SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake.
On Saturday the President suspended the party membership of Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Susil Premajayanth.
The President had informed them in writing that their memberships will be suspended due to engaging in activities not confirming to the policies of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.
Accordingly, both Susil Premajayanth and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, who were removed from their respective general secretary posts of the SLFP and UPFA yesterday, were automatically removed from the central committee of the party, as well.
In addition, Premajayanth was removed from the post of national organizer of the SLFP. Both Yapa and Premajayanth has denied the accusation and the UPFA Executive Committee has refused to accept the newly appointed Secretary Dr.Wiswa Warnapala.
The Rajapaksa faction within the SLFP has described the move as one which was instigated with the aim of taking control of appointing SLFP members t parliament through the national list.
They have described this as another attempt to deny former President Mahinda Rajapaksa the Premiership if UPFA secures a clear majority at today’s poll.
Meanwhile advocates of good governance and democracy opine that the move as well as its timing cast doubts on Sirisena’s commitment to doing things differently after disposing Mahinda Rajapaksa as President.
‘He is acting as though he is owns the party in the first place. Also, these highhanded moves have come at a time when his party is in the midst of an election. Finally, it raises suspicion that Sirisena’s thinking is dominated by antipathy to Rajapaksa rather than the affirming of democratic principles and spirit,’ a long standing democracy advocate who wished to remain anonymous told Colombo Telegraph.
*Note – An earlier version of this story said the President sacked 25 members of the SLFP central Committee and appointed new 25 members. The latest is that the President has only expelled 13 CC members. He has appointed 13 new members to the CC.