Colombo, December 11 (newsin.asia): The radical Sinhalese political party, National Freedom Front (NFF) led by the firebrand Wimal Weerawansa, appears to be cracking up, with senor leaders quitting it.
On Monday, the NFF’s Deputy Leader, Weerakumara Dissanayake, National Organizer Piyasiri Wijenayake and North Central Provincial Councilor P.B. Kumara, joined the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) led by President Maithripala Sirisena.
They obtained SLFP membership from the President himself at the Presidential Secretariat.
In a statement, the President’s Media Division said the three members pledged their support to President Sirisena at the upcoming local government election.
On December 1, NFF’s Jayantha Wijesekara joined the SLFP. A former MP of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Wijesekara had joined the NFF in 2012.
He told a news briefing at the SLFP Headquarters in Colombo that he had decided to resign from the NFF following party secretary Priyanjan Vitharana’s resignation.
“Vitharana did a lot for the party during the past eight months. I decided to quit the NFF following his resignation. I wish to invite progressive politicians from both the JVP and the NFF to join President Maithripala Sirisena,” Wijesekera said.
Commenting on his decision to join the SLFP, he said it was made following the President’s assurance to consult all parties before amending the Constitution and his assurance that he will not betray the country.
Split in TNA Averted
Meanwhile a possible split in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was averted when the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) and the Peoples’ Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOE) arrived at an arrangement with the dominant Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) to fight the local bodies elections to be held in February 2018.
Earlier, the Eelam Peoples’ Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) had left the TNA because of irreconcilable political and ideological differences with the pro-government ITAK.
Churning In SLFP
Lankan political parties are undergoing a churning in the run up to the long delayed local bodies elections.
In the SLFP, there are moves to unite the two factions, one led by President Sirisena and the other by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Several Ministers in Sirisena’s government and SLFP cadres want unity with the Rajapaksa faction to win the elections against the United National Party (UNP). And several rounds of talks have been held by senior leaders like Susil Premajayantha.
But these talks have been in vain as the Rajapaksa faction wants to have a lead role and also wants the Sirisena faction to split with the UNP with which it has been running a coalition government since January 2015.
But President Sirisena is reluctant to hand over the party’s leadership to his arch rival Rajapaksa and does not want to break the alliance with the UNP as yet.
(The featured picture at the top shows the National Freedom Front leader Wimal Weerawansa)