SLFP to expel Mahinda? | Daily News
Dayasiri warns ‘disciplinary action’
UNP says ‘violating of party rules’

SLFP to expel Mahinda?

Within hours of Opposition Leader and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa taking over as Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, the leadership of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), which is Rajapaksa’s original political party, was warning of disciplinary action against him, a threat that could result in unseating the former President from Parliament. Kurunegala District Parliamentarian and SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara on Sunday declared that the SLFP would take strict disciplinary action against any members who have joined other political parties, breaching the party code of conduct.

Such disciplinary action could result in expulsion from the party which, in turn, could result in loss of parliamentary seat. The SLFP General Secretary’s threat to expel party members who join other parties coincided with the first Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) National Convention on Sunday (11th) where several prominent SLFP Parliamentarians and other politicians representing provincial councils and local authorities were in attendance.

Most significant was the formal induction of Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, believed to be still a SLFP member, as the chairperson of the SLPP.

Rajapaksa was appointed to Parliament at the last General Election as a member of the SLFP affiliated United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) from the Kurunegala district.

Dayasiri Jayasekara speaking at the SLFP Puttalam District General Meeting also held last Sunday when he vowed to take “tough disciplinary action” against all Parliamentarians and councilors of local bodies who have violated the rules and regulations of the party. “There should be proper discipline among the SLFP members if the SLFP is to forge ahead as a strong political party in the future. I shall take the lead in this regard. We should try together to protect this great Party as it is one of the oldest political parties in this country. Let’s not betray the party for petty political gain” Jayasekera said addressing those in attendance.

UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera said there was no approval given for the SLFP members to attend the SLPP convention. He said that any decision on the SLFP MPs who took part in the Sunday’s SLPP event, would be taken at a SLFP Central Committee meeting which would be convened shortly. He said the party has not yet discussed on what action they take against those MPs. A number of frontline SLFP members were seen in the front seats at the SLPP’s maiden convention at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium where former Defence Ministry Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was officially declared the Presidential Candidate of the SLPP. Meanwhile, United National Party Chairman and senior Minister Kabir Hashim has also raised legal issues over the validity of Mahinda Rajapaksa taking up a post in the SLPP even as he held membership in the SLFP. In a media communique, Hashim pointed out that former President Rajapaksa, who was elected to Parliament on the UPFA ticket, had assumed the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) leadership while holding SLFP membership, and, that this was a contravention of the SLFP constitution. “How anybody can expect former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is violating the SLFP Constitution, to safe guard the supremacy of law in the country?” Hashim questioned in his statement yesterday. Hashim also pointed out that SLPP Presidential aspirant Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is also a US citizen, has been accused of various offences in the courts. He added that declaring Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as the Presidential Candidate was also a contravention of the law. Hashim said that the UNP would soon declare its Presidential Candidate after democratically selecting him with the concurrence of the party.

“We will nominate a democratic leader who loves the country. He will have no charges in the courts of law. Our nominee is a leader who respects all citizens equally irrespective of their ethnicities and religions.

He will be able to assure national security. Our candidate has the potential to prepare the future generation to the modern world.

He is a learned person who respects the rule of law and understands the problems of the poor,” he predicted.

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