The SLPP is a specific group of people with a political ideology, not a gang of a several persons, said FPC MP Prof. Charitha Herath.
He was speaking to the media yesterday (23) with regard to the chairmanship and the general meeting of the SLPP.
“At last elections, people gave a mandate to the SLPP for its political programme opposed to the UNP, and not to serve as a pair of crutches for the UNP. Those who betrayed that political ideology cannot have a general meeting,” he said.
Secondly, the SLPP’s constitution has been submitted to the Election Commission and ‘Maha Sabhas’ cannot take place under fake constitutions.
That is why Prof. G.L. Peiris wrote that the general meeting was null and void.
Thirdly, a political party is not anyone’s backyard, Herath said, adding that he hoped the SLPPers would not be left with any party in the end.
Monk appointed to SLPP chair
The SLPP said on April 22 that it unanimously appointed senior Prof. Uthurawala Dhammarathana Thera as its chairman.
His appointment came at the party’s general meeting at the party headquarters at Nelum Mawatha, Battaramulla, presided by its leader Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Only the position of chairman changed, with all other office-bearers of the party re-appointed.
According to SLPP sources, the GM was originally scheduled for the first week of April and Peiris invited to attend as its chairman.
In response, Peiris wrote to the party through his lawyers, advising against holding the GM as he had no time to get prepared and that he did not receive its agenda.
Another source said Peiris had been asked to attend and contest for the chairmanship, with the aim of appointing new office-bearers.
There was also talk that the SLPP planned to defeat him at an election, and Peiris had sent the letter after getting to know about it.
All these led to the postponement of the GM, and SLPP sources said Peiris was informed 10 days in advance, with its agenda made available to him.
After keeping his silence for several days, he again wrote to the party’s general secretary through his lawyers, saying the SLPP constitution does not mention a ‘Maha Sabhawa’.
Decisions made at the meeting will be null and void and without validity, he said, noting the so-called ‘Maha Sabhawa’ is not a duly constituted body at all.
Peiris said that appropriate judicial proceedings will be instituted to declare these decisions invalid.
General secretary Sagara Kariyawasam has responded, also through his lawyers, in writing that as per the elections ordinance, every party should convene a general meeting each year and appoint office-bearers.
That is the reason for the inclusion of ‘Maha Sabhawa’, said added.