SLFP’s decision to support SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa will not make any difference where the UNF led alliance’s candidate Sajith Premadasa is concerned, Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations Ravindra Samaraweera said today.
Mr Samraweera told a press conference that SLFP’s decision has no impact on Mr. Premadasa as SLFP did not support the UNP led alliance at the past elections. “It was only SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena who came out of the party and became the candidate of UNF led alliance in 2015. Also, the SLFP and those who are now in the SLPP contested the general elections together under UPFA. Therefore, the SLFP deciding to back Mr. Rajapaksa is nothing new and has no effect on Mr. Premadasa,” Mr. Samaraweera said.
The Minister added that the decision by Pivithuru Hela Urumaya Deputy Leader Madu Madhawa Aravinda to resign from his party is an attempt to minimise the impact which Mr. Rajapaksa would suffer as a result of communal statements that have been made by him. “Mr. Aravinda had come up with a statement where he had said that what would happen to Muslims if SLPP candidate is elected as president,” he said.
Meanwhile, UNP Trincomalee District MP Imran Maharoof accused former Governor of East M. L. A. M. Hizbullah for playing a political game by entering into the fray at this year’s presidential election. “He knows a Muslim or a Tamil could never be able to become the president of this country and he had joined the fray just to play a political game,” Mr. Maharoof said.
Jaffna District UNP Parliamentarian Vijeyakala Maheswaran was asked for her opinion on former MP M. K. Sivajilingam entering the fray, she said Sivajinigam should question himself as to whether he would at least win the support of Tamils in the North. (Yohan Perera)