Rajapaksa said that when Sirisena took over the position of SLFP chairman, it was expected that he would look after the party rank and file, uphold party policies and protect the identity of the SLFP even though he was elected President on UNP votes.
“Regrettably, that has not happened,” Rajapaksa said in a statement today.
Rajapaksa said that he takes pride in the fact that he built the strongest SLFP Government in the party’s history during his tenure in power.
Rajapaksa said that his Government was so strong that it could be defeated only by conspiratorially creating divisions in the party and a section of the SLFP joining the UNP in its campaign of vilification and false propaganda against his Government.
“The UNP by itself was in no position to defeat the SLFP Government that I built. Even after the defeat of my Government, the President of the country is the present leader of the SLFP. The cabinet is equally divided between the UNP and the SLFP in what has been called a national unity Government. Yet the policy of this Government is decided by the UNP, resulting in a situation where the SLFP has been held captive and forced to follow the UNP line. The SLFP is now in danger of losing its identity as a political party,” he said.
Rajapaksa said that it was an SLFP Government led by him that won the war against the LTTE but today, the UNP with the acquiescence of a section of the SLFP is engaged in exacting revenge from those who won the war against all odds.
He also said that SLFP members who have tried to maintain the identity of the party have been penalised.
“Several SLFP electoral organisers, Prasanna Ranatunga, Dilum Amunugama, Kanthi Kodikara, Dhanasiri Amaratunga, Duminda Silva and Senarath Jayasundera among others have been removed from their positions. The two parliamentarians among them PrasannaRanatunga and Dilum Amunugama sat in the opposition and played a major role in protecting the identity of the SLFP both inside and outside parliament,” he said.
Rajapaksa says members of the SLFP should ask themselves as to whose interests are served by removing such parliamentarians from their positions as electoral organisers.
The former President says there clearly is a concerted effort on the part of the UNP to destroy the SLFP completely and SLFP members in the Government should decide which is more important to them, the UNP led government or the SLFP through which they were elected last August to represent the people on an anti-UNP, anti-Government platform. (Colombo Gazette)