n a hard-hitting speech, senior SLFP Parliamentarian and Science, Technology and Research Minister Susil Premajayantha challenged the Government to maintain the Unity Government if senior SLFP MPs leave the Government.
The Minister made this remark while taking part in yesterday’s (4 April) debate on the No-Confidence Motion. SLFP Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara too said he had no qualms over vacating his ministerial position.
“The SLFP General Secretary cannot represent the party alone in a coalition government,” the Minister said, charging that the coalition will cease to exist if SLFP stalwarts such as Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva, John Seneviratne, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Dilan Perera and himself leave the Government. He lashed out at President Maithripala Sirisena for removing himself from the post of UPFA General Secretary just days before the 2015 General Election.
“Had the President not sacked the UPFA and SLFP General Secretaries before the August 2015 elections, the results could have been different, and you (UNP) would not have made it to the Government. The President himself admitted so,” he said.
He went on to remark that the 2015 Parliamentary election was not the true decision of the masses and that the recent Local Government election revealed the real mandate of the people.
“The August 2015 election result was misrepresented. The Bond scam happened as a result of that. The last LG polls reflected the real mandate of the people. If you apply its results to that of a General Election, the SLPP would have received 102 seats, UNP 65 and SLFP 30. The SLFP dissenting MPs will support to form a broad alliance to represent the real mandate of the people, as reflected in the last Local Government polls. The people will aptly respond to you in the near future,” he added stating that he has no yearning for ministerial portfolios.
He then asserted that he would hinder Government attempts to establish a new Constitution, alleging that it would be nothing more than an attempt to divide the nation. “The UPFA manifesto had no mention of bringing in a new Constitution. I made the final draft and I know its contents better than anyone.”
Targeting the Prime Minister, Minister Premajayantha laid all blame for the Central Bank Bond scam at the feet of the Premier. “The Prime Minister tried to protect former Central Bank Governor Arjun Mahendran. The SLFP cannot take any responsibility for the Bond scam as it happened during the 100-day interim Government. We pinpointed the faults of the Government, but our voices were subdued in the Cabinet. We can no longer continue in it if the same mistakes are repeated. I received 175,000 votes and I am bound to safeguard the mandate given to me,” he affirmed.
“I have no problem leaving my Ministry posts. I have No-Confidence in the Prime Minister but I will remain in the Government until the President says otherwise,” Minister Jayasekara said.
Pix By Indraratne Balasuriya