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SLFP-SLPP alliance ‘Pohottuwa’ symbol a stumbling block

11 Sep 2019 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

By Sandun A Jayasekera

The SLPP’s ‘pohottuwa’ symbol has turned out to be the biggest stumbling block to a SLFP-SLPP alliance, SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara said yesterday.  

He said the SLFP was ready to accept any symbol other than the ‘pohotuwa’ or the ‘hand’ as the symbol of the proposed alliance led by the two parties but the SLPP was determined to have the ‘pohottuwa’ as symbol for all forthcoming elections.   

The MP told a news conference that the seven rounds of talks between the SLFP and the SLPP had been positive and fruitful.  “The SLFP is ready to give up the hand symbol. Sadly, the SLPP is not ready to budge an inch from the ‘pohottuwa’ symbol.” the MP said.  

Responding to a journalist, he said the SLFP would contest the presidential election after forming an alliance with several other political parties in the event the ongoing talks failed.   
“The SLPP not only gave membership to a large number of SLFP members but snatched opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa and gave him the party leadership. It then nominated its presidential candidate and recruited several other SLFPers without consulting us and damaged the confidence among SLFPers when they took in SB and Dilan during the discussions,” the MP said.