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Dayasiri rushes to Sirisena’s defence in new twist to Sri Lanka Freedom Party saga

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ECONOMYNEXT — The crisis within the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has taken a new turn with former general secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara, who was removed by then chairman Maithripala Sirisena, now pledging his support to the latter.

Jayasekara claimed that a conspiracy has been hatched against the party.

The Kurunegala district MP told reporters that the third defendant in the same case that resulted in Sirisena’s dismissal as SLFP chairman has now been made acting chairman by what he called a sham politburo.

“The third accused of the same case, who the same charges applied to, has been made acting chairman by a sham politburo. How can that be?” said Jayasekara.

“This is clearly a deviously hatched conspiracy. The end result of this conspiracy is the killing of the SLFP,” he said.

“Those of us from the Kurunegala district, as organisers, are ready to work for President Sirisena and the party with dedication,” he added.

It was Sirisena himself who had unceremoniously removed Jayasekara as SLFP general secretary in September 2023.

Responding to a reporter’s question about this, the MP said: “There is no problem whatsoever. I have said clearly that I have no issues with the position of general secretary. The current secretary can continue to function. Also remember that I never took legal action against him. That was against Sarath Ekanayake.”

“Our issue is not about positions,” he insisted.

Acting SLFP general secretary Dushmantha Mithrapala this week accused party stalwarts of attempting to “betray” the party to its traditional rival the United National Party (UNP).

Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said once his faction has control of the SLFP, it’ll become a party that can form a government.

The SLFP last week appointed its incumbent vice president Nimal Siripala de Silva as the party’s acting chairman, amid much controversy. The appointment was made at a politburo meeting held Monday April 08 morning after the the Colombo District Court issued an interim order the previous week preventing former President Maithripala Sirisena from serving as SLFP chairman.

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, whose father S W R D Bandranaike founded the party in the 1950s, also hit out at Sirisena last week.

“When everyone asked me to run for president in 2015, I said no and brought in the SLFP general secretary, with great expectations. He ruined the country and the party too. That mistake was corrected today,” she said.

She added that the party constitution is a mess, which she attributed to Sirisena’s actions as SLFP chairman.

“I will never leave the SLFP,” she said. (Colombo/Apr18/2024)

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