SLFP 16 to dump party CC and attend JO Parliamentary Group meeting | Sunday Observer

SLFP 16 to dump party CC and attend JO Parliamentary Group meeting

With both the SLFP Central Committee meeting and the Joint Opposition (JO) Parliamentary Group meeting scheduled for tomorrow, July 2, the 16-member SLFP group has decided to only partake in the JO group meeting to be chaired by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa tomorrow at 4.00 p.m. and further states that the group is ready to join the JO formally, upon invitation.

SLFP MP and former State Minister T.B. Ekanayake, and a member of the group, told the Sunday Observer that their group will meet today, July 1 to take a final decision on whether they would participate any further in SLFP meetings as well or not.

Ekanayake said he would definitely attend the JO’s Parliamentary Group meeting tomorrow. He said he has already decided not to attend any official function of the SLFP as it is very difficult to be on both sides. MP Ekanayake said he accepts former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s leadership and as such he has decided to work with him. “Whatever the former President Rajapaksa asks us to do; we will definitely comply with it. Therefore, if he invites the 16-member group to join the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), we are ready to do so.”

He said at the discussion on Thursday, June 28 between the group and former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, permission was granted for them to join the JO Parliamentary Group and work with them. Chandima Weerakkody MP of the 16-member group, told the Sunday Observer that they had a lengthy discussion with former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and SLPP members on Thursday.

“We didn’t come across any issue from any quarter preventing our working together as an Opposition Group against the Government. What we mainly discussed was how to work as a group against the Government and organise ourselves as a broad alliance to form our own Government and win future elections as well,” he said.

Meanwhile, following their meeting with the SLPP high command, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena MP told the media not to call them the ‘16 member group’ hereafter as all 70 UPFA MPs in the Opposition have decided to work together.

MP Abeywardena said during their discussion, Basil Rajapaksa didn’t make a request them to join the SLPP. “No UPFA MP can obtain membership of another political party due to legal snags, but we will unofficially extend every assistance to the SLPP.” 

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