SLMC still on the fence

MAHINDA 3XSLMC still on the fence – By Cassendra Doole

SLMC was still considering which candidate to support at the forthcoming Presidential Election.
“Various opinions were discussed”at a meeting held at Dharussalam, SLMC Headquarters, on Tuesday, with no conclusive decision taken, SLMC sources told Ceylon Today.

SLMC General Secretary, Hassan Ali said, a decision will only be taken in a few days after another meeting. He however, denied that any discussions were held with the joint Opposition.
SLMC sources said, a large number of members took part in the meeting and some maintained support for President Rajapaksa, while others wanted Sirisena.

Udaya pole vaults again

By Gagani Weerakoon

Former Western Provincial Councillor Udaya Gammanpila, who resigned from the government with his colleague, Minister Patali Champika Ranawake a few weeks ago, rejoined government ranks yesterday, pledging alliance to President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
It was extremely painful to leave the Party formed 15 years ago, the former Deputy General Secretary of Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) said on his return to the UPFA. He said it was done, completely on a matter of principle.
“After two sleepless nights and a series of serious discussions, I decided to comeback as my conscience finally won the battle between my party and my conscience. I decided to put my country before my party as it is my principle to put country before everything,” Gammanpila stressed.
Addressing a media conference at SLFP Headquarters in Colombo, the former WPC Minister said he had informed his decision only to his long-time colleague JHU General Secretary Patali Champika Ranawake on Wednesday (10) because he did not want to see his former party scatter.
He was planning to send a lengthy letter to Party Leader Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera and General Secretary Champika Ranawake, giving reasons for resigning.
“Our party, since its inception, stood by the Executive Presidency for 15 years because our founders like S.L. Gunasekara and Chula Dissanayake strongly believed that as long as the 13th Amendment is in force the Executive Presidency too should be there. The moment it is abolished, whilst the 13th Amendment is in force, the country would be divided into pieces,” he added.
While insisting there are several weaknesses in President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his administration, Gammanpila said Rajapaksa is better than Sirisena, who is trying to achieve good governance and ensure democracy while having former president Chandrika Kumaratunge and Ranil Wickremesinghe on his side.
“It being well-known that Chandrika Kumaratunge and Wickremesinghe were dubbed as the Dona Katharina and Don Juan of our time. How can one talk about bringing in good governance and accountability while being led by a ‘fraudulent queen’ like Kumaratunga. And, how exactly can he ensure democracy for others with having someone like Wickremesinghe who deprived everyone from becoming party leader for 20 years, despite failing miserably to win at 29 elections,” he added.