Among them were Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva, UPFA Ratnapura District Leader John Seneviratne, Kandy District Leader S.B. Dissanayake several other district leaders and senior ex-Pariamentarians.
When asked about the party’s senior-most members being absent at the launch of the election manifesto, a senior spokesman of the party said they were busy with election campaigns in their respective districts.
However, party sources said this was the first time a large number of senior officials of the party did not take part in the launching ceremony of the election manifesto, ahead of a crucial national level election. The UPFA was formed before the Parliamentary election in 2004 and remained in power for 10 years.
President Maithripala Sirisena, Chairman of the SLFP, did not attend the official launch of the coalition’s election manifesto. However, several senior members of the UPFA met him at his official residence in Colombo last morning and handed over a copy of the party’s manifesto.
An invitation was handed over to the President to attend the launch of the manifesto by the UPFA seniors before he left for the Maldives for an official visit.
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