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SLFP bigwigs silenced by Kandy rally?

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Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) politicians who took part in the Kandy rally, aimed at obtaining support to make Mahinda Rajapaksa the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) prime ministerial candidate, say they have not been informed of any disciplinary action being taken against them. Meanwhile, SLFP bigwigs have mainly chosen to remain silent regarding the matter.

The SLFP had earlier banned its elected representatives from attending rallies organized by other parties. However, several MPs along with a large number of provincial councilors and local government politicians chose to defy the ban and take part in the rally held on March 6 (Friday).

The Nation contacted SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, National Organizer Susil Premajayantha, Treasurer S.B. Nawinne and newly appointed media spokesman MP Dilan Perera for clarification regarding what action would be taken against the politicians who defied the ban, but none were available for comment. MP Dilum Amunugama was the notable SLFP MP on the stage and sources said MP Salinda Dissanayake was also among the audience.

Moratuwa Municipal Council Mayor Saman Lal Fernando who attended the rally said that he and others were not informed that they will be facing any action if they participated. “We were not told or sent any verbal or written statement of any such disciplinary action if we take part in the rally and till now we have not received anything with regards to that,” he said.

Fernando reiterated the fact that the rally was not organized to split the SLFP, but to gather people to defeat Ranil Wickremesinghe at the upcoming general election.  UPFA Provincial Councilor Samanmalee Sakalasuriya expressed that she went for the meeting on behalf of the patron of their party.

Commenting on whether she has been informed of any disciplinary action taken against her for attending the rally, she said “There are a lot of people who are answerable for the manner in which they have been acting thus far. I think the party should take disciplinary action against them first before deciding whether they should take action against us.”  

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