Dr.Sudharshini Fernandopulle, John Seneviratne and Piyankara Jayaratne Refute Claims that they have joined the SJB Coalition led by Sajith Premadasa: “President Ranil Wickremesinghe is doing something to alleviate the crisis, this is not the right time to upset the apple cart”Says Seneviratne

BY Isuru Panditha

Two independent Opposition MPs who were among the five such MPs who are reported to have joined with the Samagi Jana Sandhanaya led by the main Parliamentary Opposition Party, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), namely John Seneviratne and Piyankara Jayaratne, yesterday (15) denied claims of joining any such coalition.

In a media briefing held after a discussion took place at the Opposition and SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa’s Office on Monday (14) between some MPs of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Party’s breakaway faction – led by Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, who became an independent MPs in the Opposition since the outset of the “aragalaya” – and Premadasa, Yapa asserted that they were entering into a coalition led by the SJB.

Soon after the news circulated about their alliance, Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle denied the claims and stressed that she has been working as an independent Opposition MP.

Speaking to The Morning, Yapa confirmed that only himself, and MPs Chandima Weerakkody and Jayarathna Herath, are part of the SJB led coalition.

“As a responsible group of MPs, we decided to join the SJB. It’s important to work in Parliament as part of the main Opposition, rather than being a small independent group. Therefore, we decided to join their coalition. It is true that Jayaratne, Seneviratne, and Dr. Fernandopulle are not in this coalition. However, I can affirm that Weerakkody, Herath, and myself are in the coalition.”

When queried about the statement made by Premadasa in relation to the involvement of former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga in the aforementioned matter, Yapa noted that he is not aware of her involvement.

Meanwhile, speaking to The Morning, Seneviratne clarified his stance with regard to this matter. “On social media, there was a news item that I, along with other members of this independent group, had joined the SJB after a discussion with them. There was no truth in it. I did not participate in any discussion, nor did I agree to support the SJB,” he said.

When questioned about future political engagements and the elections, he said that he would subsequently consider those matters, and claimed that he is no longer an MP of any political party.

“This is an independent party. This is not a political party where all the members are bound by the decisions of the political leader. We are not like that. All of us are independent. I was not a participant in any discussion with Premadasa. Even those who participated in the discussion are now claiming that they are independent. I was in the SLPP, but due to the economic crisis and the attitudes of the Government, we joined the Opposition through the ‘back door’.

By ‘back door’, I mean that we did not cross the floor of the House. We entered through the back door and sat in the Opposition as a mark of protest. As far as my case is concerned, this is not the right time to upset the apple cart. President Ranil Wickremesinghe is doing something to alleviate the crisis. People are not in gas queues. Law and order is restored,” Seneviratne added.

Courtesy:The Morning