By Saman Gamage
The majority of SLFP lawmakers have strongly opposed a move to form a caretaker government with Joint Opposition (JO) heavyweight Kumara Welgama threatening to sit on the opposition in such an eventuality.
Political sources said that SLFP MPs had exchanged views at a meeting chaired by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday (Oct. 9) at the residence of Prof. G.L. Peiris, chairman of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP).
Former Speaker and Hambantota District MP Chamal Rajapaksa said that those living in rural areas were strongly opposed to both President Maithripala Sirisena and Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe. He said that he was opposed to the idea of a caretaker government.
Declaring his opposition to the proposed caretaker government, MP Welgama said he would back the move if the leadership asked him to but he would sit in the Opposition.
MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage urged MP Welgama not to sit in the Opposition in case a caretaker government was formed.
Several MPs pointed out the absurdity of a caretaker government with President Sirisena, who had destabilized the party.
MPs Keheliya Rambukwella and Mahindananda Aluthgamage backed the caretaker government move whereas MPs Shehan Semasinghe and Dr. Romesh Pathirana opposed it. However, Semasinghe and Pathina said that they would abide by the decision taken by the leadership.
MP Roshan Ranasinghe, too, opposed the proposal.
The former President said that a caretaker government would be formed only with the consent of all JO constituents.