Resignation of four SLFP MPs for party unity:
Rest will follow suit-Dullas Alahapperuma
The internal crisis within the UNP-led National Unity Government took
a new turn on Thursday, when four Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)
Parliamentarians, who were recently appointed as Ministers, resigned
from their ministerial portfolios and rejoined the SLFP-led UPFA
In a bid to form a strong national government, President Maithripala
Sirisena offered ministerial portfolios to 26 SLFP parliamentarians on
March 22.Four SLFP stalwarts who resigned from their portfolios were
State Minister of Housing and Samurdhi Dilan Perera, Parliamentary
Affairs Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, State Minister for
Environment Pavithra Wanniarachchi and State Minister for Public
Administration and Democratic Governance C.B. Rathnayake. Soon after
their resignation, four SLFP
Parliamentarians who held a joint media briefing at the Opposition
Leader’s office in Colombo said that they resigned from their positions
as they could not work under the circumstances in the government.
The Government’s decision to allow the tenure of 234 local bodies to
lapse on May 15 and appoint Special commissioners, Prime Minister Ranil
Wickremesinghe’s comment against the Supreme Court’s ruling of staying
the arrest of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and adjourning
the case till October 6, the Government’s partiality towards SLFP
Parliamentarians in the release of money under the decentralised funds
and the conduct of Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) were
cited as key reasons by the four Ministers to resign.
Ministers to quit their portfolios
Meanwhile, SLFP Parliamentarian Dullas Alahapperuma at a media
briefing in Colombo on Friday hailed the decision taken by four
Ministers to resign from their posts for the sake of the party’s unity
and its future. The four SLFP MPs proved that they love their party
rather than getting portfolios and perks. MP Alahapperuma said that he
believes the other SLFP
MPs who obtained portfolios of the government would also follow the
example set by these four SLFP MPs.
Earlier State Minister of Aviation Faiszer Musthapha and State
Minister of Higher Education Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha resigned from their
portfolios and crossed over to the Opposition. Both these SLFP MPs with
few other SLFP MPs defected from then UPFA Government to support
Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Election.
Six SLFP Parliamentarians who held portfolios under the current
Government resigned from their posts and returned to the main Opposition
No equal treatment
Parliamentarian Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena
This FCID has been established to
investigate whether the government funds are being misused
squandered. The money at Dalada Maligawa is controlled by the
Buddhist monks under the supervision of the Chief Incumbent
of the MalwattaChapter
Following a decision taken by the SLFP Central Committee, we joined
the Government to help implement the policies which had been promised by
the President. A national government has to have a nationalistic outlook
and all its members should be treated equally. Prime Minister Ranil
Wickremesinghe and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake have not given
the Members of Parliament their Rs.5 million decentralised budgetary
allocation for this year. What they promised us was to increase it up to
Rs.10 million. But not a single cent has been issued to the District
Secretaries up to now. In the meantime, the Finance Minister had
issued some money in a surreptitious manner to their Pradeshiya Sabha
members and supporters at the villages to carry out their development
As Ministers of this government, we found it difficult to survive in
villages under these circumstances.
The Finance Minister said that this money would be given only after
the next Parliament is set up in September. But some money has been
given to their people to prepare for the next election. This is an
unfortunate situation which we don’t condone under any circumstance.
Under the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID), they
summoned the Chief Custodian of Sri Dalada Maligawa which is the most
sacred place of Buddhists. This FCID has been established to investigate
whether the government funds are being misused or squandered.
The money at Dalada Maligawa is controlled by the Buddhist monks
under the supervision of the Chief Incumbent of the Malwatta Chapter.
The money spent by the Dalada Maligawa cannot be questioned under any
circumstances as it is not public funds. Has this been done in any other
religion? They only want to discredit Buddhism and Buddhist monks.
Opposing undemocratic moves
We passed the 19th
We joined the government to extend our support to implement the 19th
and 20th Amendments and create a new political culture in the country.
We passed the 19th Amendment. When the 19th Amendment was to be
implemented based on the Supreme Court determination, deliberate
attempts were made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to obstruct
His intention was to give a wrong impression to the public that the
19th Amendment could not be passed due to the SLFP.
However, we could defeat this conspiracy and pass this legislation
after amending it. We are politicians who take decisions based on
Amidst series of obstacles, we tried our best to go ahead and fulfill
When the UNP-led Government resorted to undemocratic moves, we
couldn’t tolerate it furthermore. The decision taken by us would have a
great impact towards forming our government at the next General
Govt has violated consensus
District SLFP Parliamentarian Pavithra
The UNP under the pretext of ‘good
governance’ wants to browbeat the Opposition.
This is not a decision taken against any person. We joined hands with
the UNP Government due to the decision taken by the SLFP to extend its
support to the Government.
I decided to join the government to bring democratic reforms to the
country, hoping to give strength to my party and its supporters.
But the Government has blatantly violated the consensus reached among
us and launched a witch-hunt against the Opposition MPs.
When one looks at the past few months, it is clear that the UNP has
resorted to its usual political thuggery attempting to brand SLFP MPs as
The UNP under the pretext of ‘good governance’ wants to browbeat the
Opposition. We will fully dedicate ourselves to bring SLFP- led UPFA
government into power at the next General Election.
Our hands are clean
District SLFP Parliamentarian C.B.Ratnayake
There are no charges of fraud or
This is not a decision taken on personnel grounds. The FCID
implements various decisions taken by the National Executive Council.
There is no question about taking legal actions against those who have
committed to frauds. Our hands are clean.
There are no charges of fraud or malpractices against us.
The decisions on the FCID is taken by a senior DIG who has been
placed even above the IGP. He acts according to the directions of the
Prime Minister. The FCID is used to repress the public will and people’s
We also vehemently condemn the steps taken by the FCID to question
the Chief Custodian of Sri Dalada Maligawa by bringing discredit to
Buddhism. We will not be surprised if they question the
Atamasthanadipathi or the Chief Incumbent of Sri Pada.