Sandun A Jayasekera
The UNP group of the SLFP would either back UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa if he gets the ticket to contest the Presidential poll or slant towards the JVP as the once great political party has become politically destitute today, SLFP rebel Parliamentarian Dilan Perera said today.
He added that the SLFP has no option now but to hang on to another party as it put unrealistic conditions to the SLPP to prevent the formation of the proposed political alliance.
“The SLFP has no problem in supporting Sajith at the polls. Their grudge is with Ranil,” he added.
Commenting on the forthcoming Presidential poll, Mr. Perera said clashes similar to those between incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe could be prevented only by electing Gotabaya Rajapaksa as President because his chosen Prime Minister is Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The allegations on torture, abduction and assassination of journalists, arson attack on media institutions and many other crimes and also on white van culture took place during the previous administration must be levelled against former army commander Sarath Fonseka and not against former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Dilan Perera said.
Mr. Perera added that former Speaker Joseph Michael Perera has also confirmed this in Parliament when the issue was once mentioned in Parliament.
He told reporters that there was a big clash between Field Marshal Fonseka and Editor of the Sunday Leader newspaper, late Lasantha Wickremetunge shortly before his assassination in January 2009.
In response to a question raised by the Daily Mirror as to what assurance he could give that the white van culture, murder and torture of journalists, abduction of people with dissenting views, arson attacks on media institutions will not return if Gotabaya Rajapaksa is elected to Presidency, Mr. Perera said even Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera too has once levelled these allegations against Fonseka.
Commenting on the claim by President Sirisena that Rs. 2 billion paid to a Chinese company ‘National Electronics Import and Export Corporation of China (CEIEC) as an advance to start construction on the Lotus Tower Project in 2012, Mr. Perera said the wrong information has been given to the President by a brother of an SLFP national list MP who is a high powered official of the Telecommunication Regulatory authority (TRC) of Sri Lanka.
Mr. Perere admitted that the false allegation levelled by President Sirisena was unbecoming of a political leader, head of state and a President, adding that it has done much harm to the close relations between Sri Lanka and China.
“I believe that the canard was aimed at putting an end to the ongoing SLPP – SLFP talks,” he charged.