Over 200 electoral organisers of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) met for a seminar in Colombo on Friday (25) chaired by senior party MP Kumar Welgama, to agree on a program to defeat the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) at the presidential election. The SLFP leadership had earlier decided to support the SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and several party officials have appeared on stage at SLPP election rallies.
Welgama told the gathering that tying up with the SLPP is a recipe for destroying the SLFP. “We must defeat the Pohottuwa to save our party,” he said. “I will not vote for the Pohottuwa. But I will use my vote, as is my democratic right. Because of this, I know that the Pohottuwa will be defeated,” he said to raucous applause from the crowd.
Among the attendees were a number of former SLFP Ministers and MPs including Athauda Seneviratne, Milroy Fernando and Ruwan Ranatunga. “We were all there, so we know how the Rajapaksas operated while in power,” Welgama told the group.
He made reference to a recent break in at his residence in Aluthgama, when an unknown assailant had broken into and ransacked his private bedroom. “As soon as I found out that nothing had been stolen despite the room being full of valuables, I knew who was behind this and what they were trying to do,” Welgama said. “But I will not be frightened. I have never been frightened.”