Nov 29, 2017

Talks fail; SLFP to contest on its own Featured

The SLFP says it will contest the election for local government institutions expected to be held in January on its own.

Speaking to BBC Sinhala Service, UPFA general secretary Mahinda Amaraweera said the talks with the joint opposition to agree on contesting together failed, as the JO did not make an honest attempt.

They oppose a union

He said the JO’s representatives at the first round of talks on Saturday – Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Pavitra Wanniarachchi and C.B. Ratnayake – were in the forefront of forming a new party and were against a union.

Nimal Siripala de Silva, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Lasantha Alagiyawanne represented the SLFP at the discussion.

After the first round of talks, JO’s Abeywardena told the media that they reached several preliminary agreements, but that they needed to discuss certain policy matters with their leaders.

Both sides refuted media reports that there was a condition that Mahinda Rajapaksa should be appointed the prime minister or the opposition leader if they were to form an alliance.

Neither side revealed the conditions.

A second round of talks was held on Tuesday.

Sabotaged the talks

Amaraweera accused the JO representatives of sabotaging the talks.

He said they would hand in nominations to contest as the SLFP and the UPFA.

Certain of victory

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‘No intention of contesting along with the UNP’

When pointed out that the JO has the backing of 50 MPs, he said the SLFP could win as the people would vote for the party.

He added that there was no intention to contest any election together with the UNP although the two sides have formed a national government.

The election for 93 LG bodies is expected in January, after a postponement was likely as a result of the ongoing court cases and printing errors in the delimitation gazette.