“All Party Initiative Dead Horse”
The disaffected section of the ruling Sri Lanka Podjana Peramuna (SLPP) is due to launch a new coalition on Sunday (04) to oppose the government of President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
This group includes former SLPP ministers Vasudeva Nanayakkara (Left Front for Democracy), Wimal Weerawansa (Jathika Nidahas Peramuna), and Udaya Gammanpila (Pivithuru Hela Urumaya). The new alliance was to be launched at 3:00 pm at the National Youth Service Council in Maharagama, with the participation of rebel members. CP, LSSP and Yuthukama Jathika Sanvidhanaya are also members of the coalition. They are all members of the SLPP group. The rebel group consists of 12 members of parliament, one of whom is National List member He Gevindu Cumaratunga, all elected/appointed with his SLPP ticket. The SLPP won his 145th seat in the last general election.
In addition to them, Atureliye Rathana thera, a nominated member of the Ven. Our People’s Power Party (OPPP), joined the group. He said he would pressure President Wickremesinghe to hold an early general election to challenge the allegations.Political unrest ensued. The much-touted all-party government (APG) appeared to be nothing more than a dead horse, the group said, urging President Wickremesinghe and his SLPP to abandon the idea.
The group has admitted that some of those involved in the initial protest campaign launched against the Yugadanavi deal last September will not join the new coalition for the time being. Represented by Tiran Alles and Asanka Navaratne, backed a high-profile anti-Yugadanabi trading campaign. Since then, Alles (SLPP National List) has accepted ministerial portfolios.
At a recent meeting of opposition groups held at the CP office in Bolera, NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa emphasized the need for a broader national program to address public grievances. The former minister said the new alliance should redirect the country to the right path.SLPP chair Professor GL Peiris said last Friday (August 31) in parliament that 13 SLPP members, including himself, Gunmanpila, leader of the PHU, an independent group, said the group could start talks with the 13 rebels to find ways and means to reach consensus.
The 13-member group consists of Professor Peiris, Dallas Arahappelma, Dylan Perera, Dr. Kirindigoda and Upur Galapati.
In response to questions from The Island, attorney Gammanpila said: With Professor Peiris’ announcement, that barrier has been removed. We have prepared a common program for you. So we are now able to enter into negotiations based on that program. ”
SLPP rebels and the main opposition party, Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB), voted for MP Alahapperuma, who cast 82 votes. The winner, Wickremesinghe, received 134 votes even though the UNP had just one vote for him. SJB won his 54th seat in the last general election. Among them, Manusha Nanayakkala and Halin Fernando accepted ministerial portfolios against the wishes of the party.
Political sources say the SLFP is deeply divided on its strategy as two senior officials, Nimal Siripala de Silva and Mahinda Amaraweera, accepted the ministerial portfolios regardless of the party’s instructions. Both ministers have indicated that they will not resign from the government under any circumstances.
Political sources say the group headed by Professor Peiris Allahperma had a much larger group at the start of the crisis that forced Gotabaya Rajapaksa to cede the presidency, but sources said it was probably 145. Of the SLPP group of 20 members, about 20 were looking for the possibility of distancing themselves from the party and taking new paths. However, the SLPP still holds a clear majority in Congress, so no significant challenge is expected at this time.
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