ECONOMYNEXT – Chandrika Kumaratunga says she “doesn’t know whether to laugh or to cry” when she sees what has happened to her beloved Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).
“It is the party that I grew up with, it is the party that fed me and its supporters brought me to power for eleven years,” the former President said in her first official public reaction to the massive victory that the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna won in this month’s Parliamentary General Election.
“I have been looking for the SLFP all over the place, but I can’t find it anywhere,” she said with wry humour.
She blamed former President Maithripala Sirisena for “destroying the party, a process that was begun by Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mahinda began the rot and did it subtly but Sirisena finished it off in the most base and dirty way,” she said.
Finally, Sirisena was hoping for a plum Ministry but went away empty-handed, she said.
And the Ministries that the rest of the SLFP MPs have been given are a joke, she said.
“There are no institutions under them, so how can they do any work?” she asked.
“How can they help their supporters? If they can’t help them, then the party is finished.”
The General Secretary of the SLFP has been given a State Ministry of Batik and Handlooms.
But she appeared optimistic that 16 SLFP members had won seats. “We got much fewer nominations, but almost everyone who contested won,” she claimed.