If leaders do not listen to my views, I have to disclose it to the people - NFF Deputy Leader Weerakumara Dissanayaka | Sunday Observer

If leaders do not listen to my views, I have to disclose it to the people - NFF Deputy Leader Weerakumara Dissanayaka

Categorically opposing the view held by the National Freedom Front (NFF) and certain sections in the Joint Opposition (JO) that the two SLFP factions should separately contest the upcoming LG polls, NFF Deputy Leader and UPFA Anuradhapura District Parliamentarian Weerakumara Dissanayaka said if the SLFP is divided it would create chaos in the country and pave the way for the UNP to come to power in 2020. The NFF front liner in an interview with the Sunday Observer said, he had already presented his views to the NFF high command, but that they didn’t take a decision, nor did they discuss it in the party, and that is what had prompted him to disclose his view to the country.

MP Dissanayaka is the fourth prominent member of the NFF to challenge Party Leader Wimal Weerawansa. Earlier NFF National Organizer Piyasiri Wijenayaka, General Secretary Priyanjan Vitharana and NFF member and former Parliamentarian Jayantha Wijesekara had parted ways with Weerawansa’s leadership within a short period of about two months. Jayantha Wijesekera has obtained SLFP membership from President Maithripala Sirisena recently.

Excerpts...

Q. What led you to make an open statement at a recent press conference stressing the need to unite the two SLFP factions? Is it due to some ideological battle within your party?

A. This is not an ideological issue in the NFF but a problem faced by the country. Issues in the NFF are trivial, we can sort them out. What I categorically stress is that there is a dire need for the two SLFP factions and all other forces under its purview to unite so that the upcoming LG polls could be easily won. If we fail in this venture, the UNP would certainly win the 2020 Presidential Election. When we were in the JVP, we proposed to form a Probationary Government to the then PA Government in 2000 to prevent the UNP securing a victory in 2005.

The political reality is that a battle can be won only if all factions are united. I have been discussing this issue for over a year. It is the very same view that I presented to the country at my recent press conference. If the leaders are not listening to what I say, I have to sort this out with the people.

Q. Is this the ideology maintained by the NFF or is it your personal ideology?

A. I have already presented my ideology to the party. But they didn’t take a decision nor did they have any dialogue on it. Therefore, I had to convey my views to the people. So far, neither the NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa nor the party hierarchy have expressed their views on what I said. Earlier there were occasions when it was endorsed by them. Now, it has to be sorted out openly, not within the confines of the Party, to arrive at a viable solution. At the Joint Opposition Group meeting, I said this to its leaders and also to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Since none of them considered my views seriously, I was compelled to place the issue before the people. A false view has been conveyed that the people don’t like the two SLFP factions joining hands. This is a narrow minded thinking engineered by certain interested parties. It is the responsibility of the SLFP and JO leaders to enlighten the people on the ground reality. That is what is most opportune at this juncture.

Q. If the NFF turns down your request would you quit the party and join hands with the SLFP?

A. It is irrelevant whether the NFF accepts my point of view or not. As a Parliamentarian elected by the people, I have the right to express my sincere view. This I have honestly done. If the NFF has a different opinion, they are free to stick to it. My candid effort is to unite the two SLFP factions and ensure victory. I believe there is nothing wrong in it. Whether I would join the SLFP or not is not a big issue. I have no idea to quit the NFF, I only expressed my point of view. This should not be mixed up. The main task before us is, who we are going to defeat in 2020?

Q. However, as reported by the media, the two SLFP factions are going to contest separately at the upcoming LG polls. How do you look at this scenario?

A. This is wrong, I am against it. We shouldn’t say the talks between the two SLFP factions have failed. The leaders should be able to make it a success. Talks should be continued as there is nothing that cannot be sorted out through discussion. If we want to secure a victory, the reunion of the two factions is a must.

It is a wrong impression given to the country that the people don’t wish the SLFP faction in the JO to join. hands.

That is why I say that if the two SLFP factions contest separately, it would have a serious impact on the SLFP vote base and would be an advantage to the UNP. I am certain the intelligent community would realize the essence of my point.

Q. Have you conveyed your point of view to both SLFP factions stressing the need to unite?

A. Nobody can deny that I have conveyed this message to both SLFP factions. If I couldn’t officially discuss with the SLFP faction in the Government, I have already informed them personally.

They also agree that the two SLFP factions should unite. I am confident that the reunion of the two factions would pave the way to secure a landslide victory at the upcoming LG polls and in other future elections, as well. If all factions are united, the NFF should not be an exception to it. When the SLFP faces the 2020 Presidential Election, it should not have divisions. The coming two years are earmarked as election years.

The logical question is, if the two SLFP factions contest separately, on what basis can they unite at the Provincial Councils or Presidential Elections? If the two factions are not united, will it be feasible for the voters to unite at any election? The people are intelligent enough to analyze the situation critically to make a wise decision. 

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