by Nadeeka daya bandara
Parliamentarian and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) treasurer S.B. Dissanayake said on Saturday that his party would vote against the budget at its final vote, though they had voted in favour of it after the second reading.
Speaking at a meeting for the party reorganization in Kandy, he said the party was compelled to vote for the budget after the second reading of it on a directive from the leadership, despite they having decided to do otherwise earlier.
He said they acted so in the interest of the party unity and not that they endorsed the budget.
Dissanayake stated that his party was working towards a grand coalition comprising the SLFP, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), Samasamaja Party, Sri lanka Communist Party, New Left Front headed by Vasudeva Nanayakkara, National Freedom Front and parties led by Udaya Gammanpila, Athaullah, Thondaman, and Hisbullah to contest the forthcoming Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
We had a successful discussion with the SLPP and the second round of the negotiations will be held on March 21 during which we would not decide the symbol of the coalition or the Presidential candidate. We will decide those things later, the MP said.
Admitting that the SLFP was weakened due to the forming of the SLPP, Dissanayake said that the party had faced such setbacks several times during its history. “Yet it is the SLFP that has to lead the struggle against the corrupt UNP,” he stressed.