Connect with us


CBK: ‘I am SLFP Chairperson’



Former President Kumaratunga and her sister Sunethra arriving at the statue of their late father and SLFP founder, S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, yesterday

 ‘Sirisena holding the post unlawfully’

By Sujeewa Thathsara

Former President Maithripala Sirisena is holding on to the post of SLFP Chairman unlawfully, party’s Mentor, former president Chandrika Bandaranaike yesterday said after offering flowers to the statue of the SLFP founder and her late father, S. W. R. D Bandaranaike, before the official event to mark his 122 birth anniversary.

Kumaratunga said that she was still the SLFP Chairman and that due to the actions of Sirisena the SLFP had gone astray. She said that she had not left the SLFP and that she was aware Sirisena had instructed party officials not to invite her to any of the events organized by the SLFP.

“Sirisena has sold the SLFP to the SLPP. I will never leave the SLFP. I know some people are counting the days until I do. But they are mistaken.”


The former President said that a year back, she had told Sirisena that the SLFP should be strengthened.’She said: “Instead of working to strengthen the party, Sirisena is trying to sideline me. I wasn’t even invited to this event. But I came anyway because I care.”

A journalis: “Have you joined the UNP”?

Kumaratunga: “I haven’t. It is Sirisena went to the UNP headquarters five times. He went there and said he wanted to address Ranil Wickremesinghe as ‘Sir.’ I have never gone to the UNP HQ.”

Former President Sirisena also spoke to the media after offering flowers to the S.W.R.D Bandaranaike statue.

There was an argument between two groups of the SLFP after a Colombo District SLFP MP and his supporters removed the two bouquets of flowers laid by Chandrika and her sister Sunethra. Another group said it was not ethical to remove the flowers placed by the daughters of S.W.R.D Bandaranaike. Later, the two garlands were allowed to remain there, and Sirisena and the SLFP stalwarts paid a floral tribute to the statue.

A Journalist: “Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike arrived before the commencement of the official event and offered flowers. Why is that? Wasn’t she invited?”

Sirisena: “She has come before the event. I am thankful that she came.”

A Journalist: “She said you are holding to the post of SLFP Chairman unlawfully and that she would not accept your leadership?”

Sirisena: “She said? But there is no dispute among us. We all work together.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Bid to use private member’s motion to put off LG polls alleged



By Shamindra Ferdinando

Former Foreign Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris has questioned the rationale behind President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s warning that the military will be deployed to curb protest vis-a-vis a Foreign Ministry undertaking to boost foreign trade and investment.

Addressing the Parliament, during the Budget committee stage debate, on 28 Nov., Prof. Peiris said the Foreign Ministry couldn’t expect to succeed in economic diplomacy while the government was resorting to repressive measures.

Prof. Peiris asked who would want to invest in a country where the people were warned of dire consequences if they held protests, and elections were arbitrarily postponed.

Referring to the long overdue Provincial Council polls, Prof. Peiris discussed how postponement of scheduled Local Government polls could further jeopardise Sri Lanka’s standing among the international community.

Prof. Peiris alleged that the government was planning to use private members’ motion submitted by Attorney-at-Law Premanath C. Dolawatta (SLPP, Colombo District) to put off scheduled Local Government polls further. The ex-Minister claimed that the motion meant to enhance youth representation in governance would be utilised to delay the polls indefinitely. He recalled how the Yahapalana government had postponed the Provincial Council elections indefinitely.

The rebel SLPP Chairman pointed out that the government had chosen MP Dolawatta’s motion, handed over recently, though SJB’s Imthiaz Bakeer Markar submitted a private member’s motion on the same lines much earlier.

MP Dolawatta handed over a copy of his motion to President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Oct 31. Prof. Peiris said that they wouldn’t find fault with the lawmaker for making proposals which the academic said were timely.

Prof. Peiris warned Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, PC, that Sri Lanka wouldn’t be an appealing destination for investments unless the government adopted tangible measures to curb corruption. Shocking disclosures at parliamentary watchdog committees underscored that corruption was at unprecedented level and needed immediate attention.

Speaking on behalf of the breakaway SLPP faction, Nidahasa Jathika Sabhawa aka Freedom People’s Congress Prof. Peiris said that the recent declaration by the World Bank that it would audit the procurement and distribution of fertiliser here meant that the world had no faith in our system.

Commenting on assurances given by the government that a new Anti-Corruption Bill would be introduced soon, Prof. Peiris said that existing laws were quite sufficient. The issue at hand is absence of political will to battle corruption, the former Minister said, meant flight of professionals and intolerable increase in taxes on business wouldn’t encourage Foreign Ministry’s drive.

At the onset of his speech, lawmaker Peiris asked whether the government was genuine about the recent declaration that the national issue could be resolved by the enactment of a new Constitution by the next Independence Day. Who would take such a promise seriously against the backdrop of all previous attempts undertaken by far more stable governments failing to achieve the desired results? the former law professor asked. The former minister also questioned the feasibility of forming an apparatus on the lines of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa. Prof. Peiris asked whether those now at the helm really had the wherewithal to meet the South African standards.

Continue Reading


State FM assures there won’t be shortage of milk powder



State Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya told Parliament yesterday (29) that there would be no shortage of milk powder in the coming days due to the Customs holding a consignment of six containers of milk powder, imported into the country, for violating regulations.

Minister Siyambalapitiya said the six containers had 105,375 kilos of full cream milk powder, imported from New Zealand, via Malaysia. It reached the Colombo port on 20 Oct. It was only after the consignment had arrived in the Port that the importers submitted the letters to get the consignment released from the Controller Imports and Exports. Arrangements would be made to release the stock from the harbour on the recommendation of the Secretary to the Ministry of Trade and Food Security.

As such, there is no need for permission from the Controller Import and Export to release the stock, the minister said, adding that there were no limitations imposed on importing milk powder and there would be no cause for panic buying in fear of a shortage of milk powder in the coming days.

Continue Reading


Dolawatta responds to GL




SLPP MP Premanath C. Dolawatta said his private member’s motion wouldn’t lead to the postponement of local government polls. He said he felt the need to restore the 25% quota for youth, even before he entered Parliament, consequent to the August 2020 general election. The government and the Opposition could quickly reach a consensus on the proposals, and avoid unnecessary complications. MP Dolawatta said so when The Island sought his response to accusations made by Prof. Peiris, who said that time was rapidly running out for Local Government polls. As the nomination process needed to be commenced soon to ensure that 341 Local Government bodies could be constituted by 20 March 2023.

Continue Reading