Ex-UPFA councillor crosses over to UNP

Friday, 24 January 2014 00:58 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Padmasiri says SLFP members disgruntled at sidelining by the President
  • “No such thing as a SLFP anymore”: Padmasiri
Another ruling party provincial councillor crossed over to the main opposition United National Party yesterday, bringing the tally to two ahead of the Southern Provincial Council elections scheduled to be held in March this year. Former UPFA Southern Provincial Councillor Ananda Padmasiri Kariyawasam has been appointed the UNP’s Baddegama Organiser. His letter of appointment was handed over by UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday. Speaking to the press soon after his appointment, Padmasiri expressed his displeasure over the situation within the ruling party. He said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had shunned those in the party who had worked tirelessly for him in 2005 and was surrounding himself with those who had been against him. “This has resulted in deep disillusionment for the SLFP,” he said. Padmasiri said senior SLFP members and even Ministers had praised him for his decision to join the UNP. “There is almost as if there is no such thing as a SLFP anymore in this country. Those who make decisions in this country are now a handful of people who are around the President. Once it was the Secretary of the Party who had all power to grant nominations. Now all it takes is for a candidate to meet the President,” he said. Padmasiri has been a SLFP member since 1993. Earlier this month, the former Chief Government Whip of the Southern Provincial Council Sunil Galappathi crossed over to the UNP. (DB)