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SLFP yet to decide on PC polls; rank and file have concerns: Rohana Lakshman

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has yet to reach a decision on whether to contest the upcoming provincial council elections as part of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP)-led alliance or to go it alone, SLFP Senior Vice-President Prof Rohana Lakshman said.

Laksman told EconomyNexxt today that the party rank and file have raised concerns about broken promises within the alliance.

“Our urban council members at the grassroots level weren’t given money to do their council work. They couldn’t even put up a lamppost. So there is huge pressure from the lower levels of the party,” he said.

“We have to do something about this immediately. We cannot go on like this,” he added.

According to Lakshman, the SLFP will accept submissions for nomination for the PC polls from the party membership until March 31, after which the central committee will decide how the party will face the election.

Laksman further said that a majority who supported the SLPP government including Buddhist monks have become critical of its conduct.

“There may be different views expressed in the SLFP parliamentary group, but there is much pressure from the party membership, organisers and civil society activists at the grassroots level. As a political party, we need to listen to those voices,” he said.

Internal debates notwithstanding, Lakshman said the SLFP is prepared to contest the elections from every electorate in the country.

Meanwhile, in an interview with the state-run Independent Television Network (ITN) yesterday, SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara said his party has not taken a decision to leave the government.

Referring to a proposal made by Prof Lakshman about how the alliance ought to move forward, Jayasekara said “it did not say at any point that we should leave the government.”

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What the proposal did state, he said, was that the alliance must act carefully going forward in order for it to continue, failing which the SLFP should no longer be a part of it.

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe (Colombo/Mar18/2021)

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