Tensions between SLFP and SLPP rise to the top
Simmering tensions between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) members of the coalition that swept the Presidential elections barely a hundred days ago have come to the surface.
A Party Leaders meeting of the SLPP-led Sri Lanka Nidahas Podujana Peramuna will be held tonight and the SLFP leaders are bound to bring this issue up.
A senior member of the SLPP Prasanna Ranatunge has joined lesser members in criticizing former President and SLFP Chairman Maithripala Sirisena, urging his supporters not to vote for “anyone connected to Maithri.”
This prompted varied responses from the SLFP members. Its General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara on Friday said that the SLPP members were “beating us as if we are Grade II students.”
He was particularly upset that a ”senior leader like Ranatunga has attacked us,” he said.
“We have to decide whether we are to stay (in the alliance with the SLPP) or form another political force.”
Asked whether any senior SLPP leader had responded to his remarks he responded to EconomyNext in the negative.
“No there has been no reaction,” he said.
Earlier Sirisena, who holds the Chair of the alliance called the SLNPS raised eyebrows with a comment about his political future.
Speaking in Polonnaruwa last week he said that once he saw a Cormorant catch a fish and take it to a rock to eat it. “Out of nowhere an Eagle swooped down and snatched the fish and made off with it,” he said.
It was seen as a euphemism for someone snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. That resulted in a wave of criticism directed at Sirisena, mostly from his so-called allies in Polonnaruwa.
A somewhat similar situation arose during the Presidential election where the SLFP backed the SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
When some SLFP leaders rose to speak at Rajapaksa’s rallies they were jeered at. However the SLFP soldiered on and supported Rajapaksa who beat his UNP-backed rival Sajith Premadasa by a huge margin.