by Sujeeva Nivunhella in London
President Maithripala Sirisena expressed optimism of contesting the presidential election in 2020 as the leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), which, he said, will be restructured with some significant changes.
“There will be some tangible changes with reforms in the SLFP on the cards in June this year”, the President told members of the SLFP UK branch in London on Friday.
President Sirisena, who was attending Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) in London, met with SLFP UK branch president, Lasantha Perera and members at the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, to discuss the future programme of the party. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva was also present.
The President arrived in London last Sunday (15) to attend the CHOGM held from April 16-20. Prior to his official engagements, he visited the London Buddhist Vihara and was received by the Head of the temple, Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala Thero and the residents monks.
While in the UK, the President had a discussion with SLFP parliamentarians Dilan Perera and Chandima Weerakkody, who were in London on different engagements.
The Sunday Island learns that the two MPs had urged the President to break away from the coalition government, but no firm assurance had been given.On Tuesday, he met with a group of Sri Lankans domiciled in the UK at Royal Lancaster Hotel in London. The event was organised by Sri Lanka’s acting High
Commissioner in London, Sugeeshwara Gunarathna.
The following day, the President visited Sri Saddathissa International Buddhist Centre in Kingsbury. He was received by the Head of the Vihara, Ven. Galayaye Piyadassi Thero and the resident monks. He was blessed by the monks by chanting Pirith.
The President also met with members of the two UNP branches in London and the members of the Sri Lankan Muslim community. He also had a meeting with Lord Naseby.
Apart from the CHOGM meetings, Sirisena also attended the banquet hosted by the Queen.