STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Rajapaksa faction boycotts Sri Lanka Freedom Party convention

While Rajapaksa was away in Malaysia to attend a conference, the other members of the group who call themselves the “Joint Opposition” stayed away from the meeting, barring one or two notable exceptions.

Published: 04th September 2016 11:04 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th September 2016 11:04 PM   |  A+A-

COLOMBO: The Rajapaksa faction of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) boycotted the convention held to mark the 65 th. anniversary of the party at Kurunegala on Sunday, thereby keeping up the inner party struggle for power between former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the incumbent President and party Chairman, Maithripala Sirisena.   

While Rajapaksa was away in Malaysia to attend a conference, the other members of the group who call themselves the “Joint Opposition” stayed away from the meeting, barring one or two notable exceptions.

The convention presided over by Sirisena attracted a large crowd, larger than expected, because in the popular mind, he is not considered a mass leader and does not have full control over the party machine. But all his ministers ,who were till the other day with Rajapaksa, were present.

In his speech, Sirisena defended the national unity  government’s policies and emphatically denied that he is surrendering to the dictates of the international community on reconciliation with the Tamil minority, and the mechanisms for war time accountability to be set up in fulfillment of the UN Human Rights Council’s resolution of October 1, 2015.  He said he is under no pressure from anybody to act in a particular way. He promised that he would not bow to pressure, if there were any.

The party Chairman further said that the local bodies’ elections, long postponed, will be held within the first six months of 2017 and that the SLFP will contest separately on the “hand” symbol. The SLFP under him is in alliance with the United National Party (UNP) and is part of the ruling Rainbow Coalition. 

Stressing the need to bring about unity in the party, especially in the context of the next local bodies’ elections, Sirisena called upon party men to eschew petty politics and join hands to strengthen the SLFP.

The Rajapaksa faction is at odds with the Sirisena faction over the latter’s alliance with the UNP, which has been the SLFP’s historical rival. But Sirisena is keen on the continuation of the alliance for the sake of bringing about the promised constitutional reforms; effecting ethnic reconciliation; and securing international economic and political support for Sri Lanka ,which it lacked during Rajapaksa’s Presidency.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp