Bid to align SLFP with UNP ahead of polls alleged

Senior Vice President of the SLFP, Prof. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa, yesterday (09) alleged that an attempt was being made to align the SLFP with the UNP ahead of the forthcoming Presidential poll.

The move against former President and party leader Maithripala Sirisena was meant to politically weaken and then oust him, Prof. Piyadasa said.

The one-time General Secretary of the SLFP, Piyadasa also acted as Chairman of the party during the Oct/Nov 2019 presidential polls campaign.

Having failed to make a sizeable section of the SJB parliamentary group switch its allegiance to President Wickremesinghe, the UNP seemed to be hell-bent on taking over the SLFP through deceit, Prof. Piyadasa said.

The SLFPers within the government parliamentary group consisted of 14 MPs – 13 of them elected/appointed on the SLPP ticket/National List. Only one was elected on the SLFP ticket.

Prof. Piyadasa alleged that former President and SLFP leader Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga played a pivotal role in the political project.

The Sirisena loyalist said that Kumaratunga had recently moved Court against the SLFP leader in line with their overall plan.

Responding to another query, Prof. Piyadasa said that the party could have avoided the current crisis if the SLFP group in the Wickremesinghe-Rajapaksa government quit portfolios. Unfortunately, the group declined to do so, the top party official said, adding that, in fact, the party wanted the group to leave the government before Gotabaya Rajapaksa gave up presidency in July 2022.