Several former organizers of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party convened a media briefing in Colombo, today (March 20). The main focus point at this media briefing was the next presidential candidate.
Speaking at the briefing former organizer of SLFP Rajika Kodithuwakku noted that Gotabaya is a stronger candidate compared to Maithri. He noted that it is evident that Maithri or anyone else from the SLFP has to contest against the Rajapaksa’s in the upcoming election.
Former organizer of SLFP G.H. Buddhadasa noted that the Rajapaksa family has chosen Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the presidential candidate. He said, “Where is S.B. Dissanayake? Susil Premajantha? Where is Dilan? They have abandoned President Maithripala”
Buddhadasa noted that Mahinda paved his way to becoming Prime Minister by promising President Maithripala that he will be the next Presidential candidate. He noted that in the end, he became the Prime Minister and then the opposition leader and hoodwinked the party and the party leaders. He added that Gotabaya can contest from the SLFP and win by himself if he wants.
When journalists questioned G.H. Buddhadasa of how many times they met President Sirisena he (Buddhadasa) noted that they do not have a need to meet. He noted that President Sirisena is not the embodiment of the SLFP.
Speaking to News 1st S.B. Dissanayake noted that the root of some of these statements made by certain individuals come from the UNP, some are made by individuals who intend on going to the UNP, while some of these arguments are built up disregarding any party that they represent.
Meanwhile the members of the opposition of spoke of the presidential candidate. General Secretary of the UPFA Mahinda Amaraweera noted that they do not expect to give the UNP the opportunity to appoint another president. He added that even though their political parties act independently, they are of the stance that the opposition must be united.
Amaraweera went onto note that they are not concerned as to who will be the presidential candidate, as all they require is an effective action plan. However, he noted that they only need one good presidential candidate, and not two.
UNP MP Harshana Rajakaruna noted that even the back bench leaders of the UNP can contest with Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. He noted that Ranil Wickremesinghe is the leader of the UNP and Sajith Premadasa is the deputy leader of the UNP and there should be one presidential candidate from the UNP. He added that this will not change.
Meanwhile, UPFA MP Wijith Wijayamuni Zoysa noted that he does not work with the Rajapaksa family. He noted that Mahinda Rajapaksa’s appointment as the Prime Minister was when he last worked with him (MR). MP Zoysa noted that the very next day they joined the Pohottuwa and left them stranded in parliament.
UNP MP Ashok Abeysinghe said there will be a presidential election during the end of this year. He noted that they will announce a presidential candidate from the UNP and he will succeed in the presidential election. MP Abeysinghe went onto note that the UNP has Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sajith Premadasa as well as Karu Jayasuriya.