SLFP uninterested in talks with any party but SLPP – Amaraweera
The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) is not interested in talking to any other major party beside the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) in forming an alliance for the coming election, MP Mahinda Amaraweera said.
Speaking to reporters in Colombo today, Amaraweera denied reports that the SLFP has been talking to the United National Party (UNP).
The General Secretary of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) was referring to a meeting UNP deputy leader Saith Premadasa had with President Maithripala Sirisena Tuesday night.
“The first priority of the SLFP is extend the maximum possible support toward making the ongoing talks with the SLPP a success and not to join or work with another camp,” he said.
Reiterating the party’s demand for contesting the presidential election with the SLPP under a common symbol, Amaraweera said the SLFP hasn’t placed a single other demand on the lotus bud party.
“We have also accepted all the proposals made by them,” he said, adding that the goal of uniting under a common symbol was not just to protect the SLFP but also to ensure the victory of SLPP presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa by bringing him SLFP votes from all over the country.
Asked about the likelihood of changing the symbol when the security deposit for the candidate had already been made, Amaraweera said that as far as he knew, the SLPP had only made the deposit as a party rather than as a candidate.
“Our lawyers have informed us that it is indeed possible to make such changes. However, we’re seeking further legal advice to be sure,” he said.
“If there is a legal issue, we can then consider it. We don’t like to see the candidate being rejected because of this issue,” he added.
Regarding the possibility of joining forces with the rival UNP, Amaraweera said although the SLFP general secretary had received a letter from his UNP counterpart for discussion in supporting them, the party’s Central Committee had not discussed the letter at its meeting.
The meeting held between President Sirisena and Sajith Premadasa, he said, was not based on that letter and was only based on a request made by Premadasa and few other ministers to the President at the end of the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday (1 Oct).