21 November, 2018

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Who Is Controlling The SLFP – Maithri, Mahinda Or The ‘Gang Of Four’?

By Gamini Jayaweera

Gamini Jayaweera

Gamini Jayaweera

On 16 January 2015 former President Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, following his unexpected defeat in the presidential election, gave up the leadership of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and Mr. Maithripala Sirisena who contested against the former president assumed duties as the new leader of the SLFP. Mr. Rajapaksa stated that the reason for relinquishing his leadership of the party was to avoid any possible division in the party. The new leader, Mr. Maithripala Sirisena assumed his duties hoping that he could give a new political culture to the SLFP membership and unite the party to contest and win the next general election under his leadership. But it appears that his expectations are not going in the right direction due to number of obstacles which have been created by the crafty operations of the external ‘Gang of Four’ well supported by the Rajapakshe fraction of the SLFP.

‘Gang of Four’

It appears that the ‘Gang of Four’, namely Mr. Wimal Weerawansa MP of National Freedom Front, Mr. Dinesh Gunawardena MP of Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, Mr. Vasudeva Nanayakkara MP of Democratic Left Front, and Mr. Udaya Gammanpila of Pivithuru Hela Urumaya is well supported by a large number of SLFP former Ministers, MPs, Chief Ministers, and other members of the party are working tirelessly to build a strong opposition to SLFP current leader Mr. Maithripala Sirisena’s vision of creating a new political culture.

It is hard to believe that a well-established party like SLFP is indirectly controlled and directed by the ‘Gang of four’ undermining the authority of the leadership and the Central Committee of the party. It appears that the leadership and the Central Committee of the SLFP cannot implement the rules, processes and procedures of the party on their membership because they ignore those instructions and participate in rallies organised by the ‘Gang of Four’ criticising the activities of the “Yahapalnaya” led by the leader of the SLFP. They are not only trying to build a “public opinion” against Maithripala fraction of the party but also giving ‘orders’ to SLFP Central Committee to select certain parliamentary candidates for the upcoming general election of their choice irrespective of the allegations of bribery & corruption, ongoing cases in courts & bribery commission against these MPs. They also demand that Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa should be nominated as the SLFP prime ministerial candidate in the forthcoming general election.

Vasu Dinesh Wimal UdayaIt appears that the General Secretary of the SLFP has accepted these ‘demands’ from the ‘Gang of Four’ when he stated in a recent press conference that all sitting MPs of the UPFA would be given nominations to contest the general elections irrespective of alleged illegal activities. Has this policy been ratified by the leadership and the Central Committee of the SLFP? If so, is there any purpose of appointing a Nomination Panel to select candidates? This is contrary to the policy of the party leader, Mr. Maithripala Sirisena and many senior figures in the party to refuse nominations to candidates who are being investigated for bribery & corruption, drug dealing, murders and exhibiting extremely bad behaviour in public violating the law of the land. It has been reported in the media last week that the President has stated in a SLFP group meeting that one of the main pledges that he was elected to office on, was to eliminate Kudukarayas (drug dealers) and Rasthiyadukarayas (undesirables) from the legislature. Is the General Secretary working very closely with the Leader of the party to finalise the process of selection criteria or is he trying to please the MR fraction and the ‘Gang of Four’?

Mahinda Fraction

Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa was a very popular leader during the last two decades mainly due to his leadership during the war against the LTTE. He led the armed forces to defeat the most ruthless terrorist organisation world had ever known to liberate all Sri Lankans from bombs, bullets, fear, anxiety, murder, and continuous curfews and emergency regulations. He has his rightful place in the Sri Lanka’s history. He has given up the leadership of the SLFP and has been elected as one of the Patrons of the party. As an elder statesman he should not be in active politics. His role in the party should be a passive one. Unfortunately recent events indicate that Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa wants to engage in active politics. This decision has created a visible split in the SLFP. This is contrary to what Mr. Rajapaksa stated on 16 January 2015 when he was handing over the leadership of the SLFP to Mr. Maithripala Sirisena. It appears that Mr. Rjapaksa’s change of heart has directly impacted the party’s discipline which is fundamental to winning or losing elections. The situation has led some members to functioning as members of MR fraction or separate individuals rather than a united SLFP by breaching party discipline. It appears that the relationship between MR Fraction and the external ‘Gang of Four’ is much stronger than the relationship between the internal divisions i.e. MS & MR fractions, of the party.

MS Fraction

Most of the junior MPs and a few senior members who supported Mr. Maithripala Sirisena during the presidential election are extremely loyal to the president. They are in favour of President’s vision of creating a new political culture and to work with other political parties towards the advancement of social, religious, cultural, economic, and technological developments in the country. They give their unconditional support to the President’s determination to transform our misguided, and mismanaged society into a more tolerant, caring, fair and reasonable society. They also want to support the president’s determination to apply the rule of law to every citizen in the country irrespective of their “status” or political affiliation. But unfortunately, it appears that most of the other senior members of the SLFP who give conditional support to the president, also want to bring back Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa as the party’s prime ministerial candidate in the forthcoming general election. They do not want to participate in the creation of a new political culture which is advocated by the President Mr. Maithripala Sirisena. It also appears that they have placed one foot in MS Camp and the other foot in MR Camp to ensure that they can gain the maximum benefits when the opportunity arises.

Conclusion

Based on the above analysis it appears that there is a question about who is controlling the SLFP in the current political environment. It is time for Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, as the leader of the SLFP to take firm, decisive actions to safeguarding the party discipline so that the members can operate as a cohesive group rather than performing as fractions or individuals disregarding the policies of the Central Committee. Senior figures of the party should be advised to set an example to ensure that party’s discipline must be maintained at all times by the membership. The party cannot have two leaders. It is a recipe for disaster. The UPFA coalition partners should be warned that they would be expelled from the UPFA if they organise rallies to promote policies to undermine the authority of the leadership and the Central Committee of the SLFP. The SLFP members who violate the policies, rules, processes, and procedures of the party should be disciplined without delay to ensure that party members do not undermine the authority of party leadership and they should toe the party line. These actions will undoubtedly eliminate the confusion about who is controlling the SLFP in the current political environment and unite the party. This may lead to gaining a majority in the new parliament under the leadership of Mr. Maithripala Sirisena.

*The writer is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and is a holder of Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Henley Management College, Oxford 

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Latest comments

  • 5
    1

    Gamini Jayaweera –

    RE: Who Is Controlling The SLFP – Maithri, Mahinda Or The ‘Gang Of Four’?

    The Four Jokers?

    They are just noise. They are entertainment for the Modayas, Mootals and Fools.

    Others Control it. after all Maitripals sirisena is president and CBK is behind it,

    Mahinda Rajapaksa is a village boy , who us now exposed…

    Raja Raja Chatu Mara Mara… is Humpty Dumpty..

  • 3
    1

    Dear Mr Gamini Jayaweera,

    This is the time when we need as many clear-sighted analyses of the issues before us as possible. Yours is an excellent piece. (But shouldn’t we be speaking of “FActions” of the SLFP?)

    Thanks for being so precise in your prescriptions!

  • 6
    1

    SLFP has never been an organized, a disciplined or a party with its own popularity. From the time of its founding it has been a loose collection of persons with different thinking. The party never came to power with a long-term political agenda for the country or won elections on its own to form a Govt. First, it used the instantly popular Sinhala Only slogan and came to power using it but also in a coalition as MEP and the personal charisma of SWRD and Phillip enabled them to form the Govt. Then too, the popular Dudley Senanayake not being its leader and unpopular Sri John in the saddle of the UNP too helped the MEP. The SLFP with C.P De Silva, contesting on its own, did not win the elections in March 1960. With Srimavo, drawing the peoples’ sympathy as the widow of SWRD and with the support of the Old Left parties, won the elections in July 1960. Similarly, in the elections that followed the SLFP came to power either with the charismatic person (Chandrika was the next) and in coalition with the Left Parties and of course with the weakness of the UNP. Aslo, whenever the SLFP with its coalition partners was in power there was no proper governance; disunity within the Govt.on various issues were rampant and the country was always in chaos under the SLFP. With all the chaos caused by the misrule of MR the SLFP is in a worse situation now and indications are that it will be worst with MR trying to stage a come-back with the support of cronies such as Wimal, Dinesh, Vasu and Gammanpila like characters who have little or not voter base at all and have become spent-out politicians. With the resurgence of the UNP as a united party at the next elections the SLFP will be only winning a few seats which will be the beginning of its end in the political scene of Sri Lanka. The JVP which a most disciplined party with a clear agenda will be the winner at least emerging as a strong opposition party.

    • 0
      0

      , The SLFP was not able to win the March 1960 elections single handedly. The UNP hardly had a working majority and was defeated, it was after that the Left parties mistakenly decided to come to an electoral understanding with the SLFP for the July 1960 elections under Mrs.SWRD.B as leader for thwarting the bid of the UNP to form a government.
      The unravelling and eventual decline of the Left started from that point.
      But briefly the fortunes of the left peaked as the ULF in1963 when Phillip G,the LSSP and CP combined and formed the United Left Front but it hit the barrier and became cropper due to internal bickering and consequent dissensions much to the relief of Mrs.B the UNP. and crony capitalism all,of which were allied.

      The Left became a spent force thereafter by taking up the the thosai masalavadai line in 1964 on bedding up with the SLFP and with that NM, Colvin, Pieter K and became nonenties devoid of all credibility and finally all of them got decimated in the1977 elections and it is now left history.

      Now the only hope of a Left is the JVP, but as it is indecisive and bewildered in my opinion to state it’s position in clear terms it’s policy on the national question with regard to minority rights, the JVP is going to be in the political doldrums for whatever length of time it takes and could only be a small force in the whole equation until such time when other major players become a spent force.

  • 6
    0

    “…unfortunately, it appears that most of the other senior members of the SLFP who give conditional support to the president, also want to bring back Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa as the party’s prime ministerial candidate in the forthcoming general election. They do not want to participate in the creation of a new political culture which is advocated by the President Mr. Maithripala Sirisena. It also appears that they have placed one foot in MS Camp and the other foot in MR Camp to ensure that they can gain the maximum benefits when the opportunity arises”.

    Since these opportunistic frauds are easily identified, Gamini Jayaweera’s suggestion that “..The SLFP members who violate the policies, rules, processes, and procedures of the party should be disciplined without delay to ensure that party members do not undermine the authority of party leadership and they should toe the party line.”

    Better still, they should be publicly exposed and kicked out!

  • 2
    2

    My3 as executive head and MR as constitutional head will not work for a unity government as 4 million UNP voters would be betrayed. On the other hand if SLFP is split vertically into 2 UNP will gain which is the fear of JVP which came 3rd in 2002 a nightmare for JHU and democratic party of Sarath Fonseka too eventually they may join the winner rather the loser. This is the case with SLMC, CWC and JHU dissidents. MR worried about civil war like situation handed over the power instead of hanging on to power for 2 years with military might. So he should relinquish politics to avoid division of the SLFP. The partners in UPFA are name sake parties and they do not have a substantial following. Like Sajith Premadasa Namal Rajapaksa will be benefitted in the future if party is intact, cross overs apart!

  • 6
    0

    People who belongs to SLFP should ask questions themselves what should be the goal of a SLFP party on serious matters:
    Is it a party for people or is it a party for a family?
    Do we want dictatorship or Democracy?
    Do we want a corrupted rule or good governance?
    Do we want rule of junle law or rule of law?

  • 4
    1

    It is crystal clear that Mr. MR cannot join or support this Government or the main SLFP because of the ongoing investigations relating to corruptions and swindling of Public Wealth. This “Gang Of Four” are not a “Force” to recon with except that it is supported by a fair number of SLFP members, both in Parliament and Provincial Administration who are also engaged in a life saving battle for survival in the political field. Mr. MR too has to fight that battle for his own and his family’s survival. So all these “Gangs” have taken up a very “DEFENSIVE” struggle to face the ongoing challenges directed personally and jointly at their families. This is the “clear picture” that the people have to be given and well understood and that is very essential for the establishment of a “New Culture” in the Political field.

    In the above context the President Mr. Maithripala Sirisena gave a clear message to Mr.MR when he met him. Mr.MR came up with a 7 point plan and listening to it patiently said in clear terms that NONE of the requests would be agreed or given any consideration. On hearing this answer Mr.MR asked “then what is the use of this meeting” to which the President replied “then you can leave”. So do anyone can expect Mr.MR to support the SLFP led by the President but to gang up with whatever the “GANG” that comes up against the present administration? I feel sorry for MR. MR for the simple reason that he himself allowed to be “highjacked” by this “Gang of Four” including the “frightened” and “disgruntled” SLFP members. This is a FACT and TRUTH that Mr. MR FAILED to understand and accept at all times.

  • 4
    8

    When there are Sinhala LTTE men like Gamini Jayaweera who has the impudence to subvert the truth and brazenly praise this corrupt government,. the honest, patriotic people will have to redouble their efforts to silence the parasitic Sinhalese who are paid by NGOS and CIA to destroy this country.

    • 4
      0

      Hahahaha, Gigu-Pala, you really are a joker! Those “parasitic Sinhalese” you speak of are the ones who are hanging onto Mahinda for all they are worth (which is nothing). You are just as worthless, mouthing bullshit in the hope that Mahinda will recognize your efforts and continue with paying your stipend for the propaganda you churn out under the various bogus names you so love to use.

    • 0
      4

      Why is everybody harping on MR’s age ? If he is fit and able he should be entering the political field for the betterment of the country . How old was Nelson Mandela when he sssumed the role of President of South Africa? He was mentally very alert and an able politician .

      Maybe this Gamini is not very familiar with international politics.

  • 1
    1

    The problem SLFP facing is that MR did not use correctly people’s massive support given to him in 2010 Presidential Election. He could have became a “KING” if he functioned correctly. He made several mistakes: Grooming the son for next president, Seeking 3rd term, Possible mismanagement of finances, etc.
    MS became a cat paw of UNP, CBK and Foreign Forces to oust MR.
    SLFP elected MS who won mainly UNP and ethnic votes as the leader.
    Now MS is in a dilemma under several pressures: UNP, CBK, SLFPers and foreign powers.
    RW is playing fool with borrowed power. His appointment as PM is not legitimate. He does not know how to govern as a minority government.
    Voters are confused. Waiting till their time comes. Then only we will know what the Sri Lankan political future will be !

  • 2
    3

    Who is this man Gamini. Look like all known but, really not known anything and biased person. These are the people destroyed stable situation in srilanka. Some preist also responsible for today’s sad situation. This situation will tend to create getting revenge from each other but, never gain anything good to the country.

  • 1
    1

    “Senior figures of the party should be advised to set an example to ensure that party’s discipline must be maintained at all times by the membership. The party cannot have two leaders. It is a recipe for disaster. The UPFA coalition partners should be warned that they would be expelled from the UPFA if they organise rallies to promote policies to undermine the authority of the leadership and the Central Committee of the SLFP. The SLFP members who violate the policies, rules, processes, and procedures of the party should be disciplined without delay to ensure that party members do not undermine the authority of party leadership and they should toe the party line”

    Of course it is a disaster, a big disaster! And a calculated disaster..

    The problem is a person who should have been expelled from the party has hijacked the party leadership. MY3 was elected by UNP votes. He has no SLFP followers apart from few in Pollonaruwa. The SLFP supporters rejected him and remain as supporters of MR. SLFP politicians follow what the average voter does. That is the reality.

    Now the democratic rights of a people (58 lakhs) is violated as Ranil control both UNP and SLFP. Therefore it is a disaster and will turn into a bigger disaster. Either MY3 make MR candidate and let people choose or MY3 leave SLFP and become UNP leader.
    Otherwise there will be a lot of instability in the coming years.

  • 1
    1

    UNP is a party of traitors and LTTE sympathises, who would betray anyone or destroy the country simply to be in power. What is a man who lost 28 times still hanging around shamelessly like a bad smell? Ranil is up to his eyes and ears in greed for power.

  • 2
    3

    Gamini, you wrote a very long article but it appears that you expanded your theory even without knowing hierarchy of SLFP. Even a peasant in a remote village in Sri Lanka will explain you how Chandrika is controlling Sirisena and SLFP. Unfortunately now she is damaging the party instead of helping. Wherever she goes to public addressing she irritates people and ends up getting a “Hooting Treatment” from public.

  • 0
    0

    Jayaweera, do you living in Sri lanka’s soil?

    CBK is belongs to aristocracy and feudal land lord family which class of House of Banadanararake the originally from Tamil blood.
    In fact which is currently SLFP leadership of MS is control, its members and other offices bearers, party building, funds by CBK.

    MS is head of SLFP is more or less that puppet of Chairmen of that party is all terms and conditions has been dictated by CBK.

    MS has crossed over to UNP in publicly and appointment of UNP Presendintal candidate of 2015 Election.

    MS was still-born Gamasevak or village headmen turn into politician of SLFP. Who betray SLFP by blessing form CBK then become help for UNP to come power by one mandate of that cost of SLFP members and Tamils & Muslims.

    It is the crystallization of the family wisdom of SWRD, SRD and
    Anura. B, Surantha. B & Chandirake-CBK partner of Banadarake dynasty.

    SLFP is no longer party of people of rural poor?

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