SLPP National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa
UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera
- Policy framework of proposed alliance to be finalised following meeting between Sirisena and Rajapaksa
- SLFP expects to meet SLPP Presidential candidate to discuss common policies
By Nuwan Senarathna
Top politicians of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) yesterday said all was ready to form a coalition, but they were awaiting a meeting between President Maithripala Sirisena and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa to seal the deal.
The seventh round of discussions between the SLFP and the SLPP, which included SLPP National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa and United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera for the first time, was described as successful by all participants. The discussion, which went on for more than two hours, indicated that all was ready for a coalition to be formed, if the respective party leaders were in agreement.
Following the discussion, UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera said both parties discussed at length the policy framework and procedures on how to work together in the future. “We mainly focused on maintaining the identity of the SLFP and developing the country. The SLFP is looking beyond individuals and to a policy framework that is capable of guiding the country to prosperity,” he said.
SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara said they expect to meet the SLPP presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa, to discuss his policies and understand how both parties can coordinate. “Since Gotabaya Rajapaksa was named as the SLPP presidential candidate, we are expecting to discuss with him on his policies and how he expects to develop the country.”
Jayasekara noted both parties had discussed certain matters regarding the presidential candidate, but the main focus was on the policy framework of the alliance. “We have talked about the symbol of the alliance, but that was not finalised as it can be finalised later,” he said.
Speaking to reporters, SLPP National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa said the discussion between the leaders of the two parties can happen at moment, perhaps as soon as Tuesday night. Following their meeting, the final decision on the proposed alliance will be taken.
“The two leaders could meet even tonight. We will brief the party when the meeting takes place and hope to take a final decision soon,” he said.
Rajapaksa noted they will agree to protect the identity of the SLFP as they progress in the proposed alliance, and work on respecting the values of both parties.
Pix by Lasantha Kumara