By Ashwin Hemmathagama
UPFA lawmakers Gamini Wijith Wijayamuni Zoysa, Lakshman Senewiratne, and Indika Bandaranayake crossed over to join the Government soon after Parliament was convened yesterday for the first time after UNP MP Ranil Wickre-mesinghe was reappointed as Prime Minister.
Explaining the reasons which compelled the three of them to leave the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and join the UNP, MP Zoysa complained of step-motherly treatment under President Sirisena and said the country was heading in the wrong direction due to the unwarranted constitutional crisis.
“Parliament was dysfunctional recently. The Executive, Judiciary and the Legislature were clashing for different reasons. Entire country was hit with political instability and the cost of this instability is borne by the general public. The political instability was felt throughout the country from the man living in a mansion to those living in huts. We should not allow this to happen as responsible lawmakers of a longstanding political party,” he said.
MP Zoysa criticised MP Mahinda Rajapaksa for obtaining membership of the SLPP. According to Zoysa, the SLFP was on the verge of collapse due to wrong political decisions and has fallen into a difficult situation.
“The SLFP has a big responsibility. Mahinda Rajapaksa was an advisor of our political party. Now that he has taken membership in a different political party, we are not sure how to continue identifying him as an advisor. I am a born SLFPer. We took the burden of the party when no members came forward. In 1979, both my father and I contested for the Avissawella Municipal Council election at a time there were no contenders.
I even worked tirelessly during the period Madam Sirimavo Bandaranaike lost her civic rights and also worked to appoint Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge as the President. I was in the SLFP Youth Front. At the time Ranjith Maddumabandara and I were arch rivals, but today fate has made both of us to sit on the same side. But none of these disputes were for personal reasons. They were solely based on our political rivalry,” explained MP Zoysa.
However, MP Zoysa held that MP Rajapaksa is surrounded by ‘wolves and dogs’ misleading him at all times. Pledging to extend his support to establish the much-wanted political stability in the country and help the Government to go ahead with development projects. MP Zoysa stated that he will continue to be a member of the SLFP rather becoming an UNPer.