The SLFP, which initially decided not to attend President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s all party meeting, announced last night (28), that they decided to take a step back ‘in the interest of the country’, party’s General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara said.
The SLFP Central Committee earlier decided they would not attend the meeting with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on forming an all-party interim Government with the President today (29), if Shantha Bandara and Suren Raghavan were not removed from their State ministerial positions.
However, after meeting party leaders and members of the group of 40 independent MPs yesterday, the SLFP has changed its previous stance.
“After the discussion our party decided to attend President’s meeting as we felt this is not the time to take petty decisions based on party politics and instead to act in the best interest of the country. Therefore, we will join the meeting with others in the group,” Jayasekara noted.
The SLFP recently became independent in Parliament and sat on the Opposition side in the Chamber, until the Government heeds its calls to appoint an interim Government.
Going against this collective decision, SLFP MPs Shantha Bandara and Suren Raghavan accepted State ministerial portfolios from the President.
Following this, the SLFP announced that both Bandara and Raghavan will be stripped of the party membership. On 26 April, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa invited leaders of all parties representing the Government, as well as MPs who decided to remain independent in Parliament, to discuss the formation of an all-party interim government, after the current Prime Minister and Cabinet’s resignation.
By Methmalie Dissanayake