BY Buddhika Samaraweera
The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has denied media reports that it has taken a decision yet to leave the current Sri Lanka Freedom People’s Alliance (SLFPA) Government led by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), but SLFP Senior Vice President Emeritus Prof. Rohana Luxman Piyadasa said that the party will definitely contest any future election separately.
Yesterday, certain media reported that the SLFP, a major constituent partner in the current SLFPA Government, is preparing to leave the Government.
However, when contacted by The Morning yesterday (13), Prof. Piyadasa said that if a decision is taken to leave the Government, that decision should be taken by the SLFP’s Central Committee or the SLFP’s Political Bureau and that such a decision has, however, not been taken as of now.
“Decisions regarding the party are taken by the Politburo or the Central Committee. I am a member of both but both have not met recently. Even though there are no plans to leave the Government, I can now say that the SLFP will contest separately in any forthcoming election. The programme to build an alliance for that has already begun,” he said.
He further said that in the face of the present Government’s programme and the problematic situation which has arisen between the SLFP and the SLPP, many parties are questioning why the SLFP is still staying with the Government.
He noted that making emotional decisions in this regard could however lead to further crises in the country.
“The problems of the people will not be solved just because the SLFP leaves the Government at this time. It could lead to even more of a crisis situation in the country, because even if the SLFP leaves the Government, the Government’s programme will continue in the same manner. They can pay and lure parliamentarians, thereby ensuring the parliamentary majority. Even in our party, there could be MPs who are working for money,” he added.
Prof. Piyadasa also said that the country could not recover from the present crisis simply because the SLFP leaves the Government, adding that by remaining in the Government, the SLFP at least had the potential to influence the decisions taken by the Government. However, he said that the process of strengthening the SLFP to face the forthcoming elections on its own has already begun.
SLFP Chairman, former President, and incumbent MP Maithripala Sirisena and a number of other ministers and MPs of the SLFP are currently seen criticising certain policies of the present Government. In response to such criticisms, the SLPP politicians are seen asking the SLFP to leave if they are unable to stay with the Government.