(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) spokesman Weerakumara Dissanayaka says that the Central Committee of the party will meet at President Maithripala Sirisena’s official residence on Monday (September 30) night.
He said the Central Committee meeting, which will be held on the 30th at 7.30 pm, will be a decisive meeting and they are scheduled to discuss several issues including the symbol to contest the forthcoming presidential election.
Speaking at a media briefing yesterday (26) at the SLFP headquarters, Dissanayaka said whatever the decision the SLFP takes, it will be taken with the approval of the Central Committee.
He said the negotiations between the SLFP and the Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) have not been finalized and the issue is still the symbol under which they should contest the election.
“In our discussions between the two sides the issue is still about the symbol. There is no issue regarding other matters in the discussions between us. However, all in the SLFP including the party leader President Sirisena request to use a symbol other than the Pohottuwa (bud). However, no final decision has been made. We hope that through these discussions a successful solution can be reached.”
“However, there is one thing we need to focus on. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is contesting for the Presidential election. He needs votes. Some decisions have to be taken regarding the number of votes. And if both sides agree and join together then that is to achieve something productive for the country. So we all have to make some sacrifices. Both the Podujana Peramuna and the SLFP have to act according to their own constitutions. However, we invite SLLP to come to an agreement and contest under a common symbol for a leftist candidate to win.”
He further said the SLFP had the intention of abolishing the executive presidency. “President Maithripala Sirisena too made a concerted effort to do so. However, the Parliament did not assist the President in this endeavor. So we don’t talk about it anymore. However, a day after the presidential election was announced, a proposal was presented to the Cabinet regarding the abolition of the Executive Presidency.”
The spokesman said there is no final agreement on whether the SLFP will field a presidential candidate. However, the group of MPs has made a request to re-introduce President Maithripala Sirisena. He has not stated that he will contest at any time. There has been some talk about Mr. Kumara Welgama. “However, we have not mentioned that he is contesting as a Presidential candidate. It is true that he is a member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. But recently he was the Badulla District Organizer of the SLPP.”