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SLPP pressures SLFP to vote against the Budget

Prof G L Peiris's statement adds to tensions between the SLPP and the SLFP

G L Peiris challenges the SLFP to match words and deeds

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna has thrown down the gauntlet to the Sri Lanka Freedom party urging it to vote against the Government at the last vote on the Budget on Friday if they wanted to form an alliance with their party.

The  nominal head of the SLPP Professor G L Periris told a Media conference in Battaramulla Monday that the SLFP was critical of the Government in Parliament but was “protecting the UNP at crucial times. This is contradictory,” he points out..

Speaking separately to RepublicNext the SLPP Chairman said that his party was in talks with the SLFP to “build a broad anti-UNP alliance based on principles. The Budget is the most important piece of legislation the Government presents so the SLFP must oppose it. Otherwise an alliance is not possible.”

The SLFP was beaten into a poor third place in last year’s Local Government elections where the SLPP emerged as a formidable force winning 70 percent of the wards bringing 3363 members into councils.

In the negotiations with the SLFP the newly formed party led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is clearly the senior partner. Crucially a number of SLFP MPs took SLPP membership along with the former President last year.

Peiris says the behaviour of the SLFP MPs who “heavily criticize the Government in their speeches but don’t come to Parliament to vote against the Government has created mistrust between us. There is a gap between word and deed and our supporters are wondering what’s going on.”

He adds that the next round of negotiations between the two parties is on Sunday they would want to see a change in the SLFP before that.