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Joint Opposition will boycott convention

SLFP Parliamentarians in the Joint Opposition yesterday formally announced that they would not participate in their party’s 65th anniversary celebrations in Kurunegala tomorrow (04).

Addressing the media at the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s office at Battaramulla, National Organiser of the JO Dullas Alahapperuma said that though they had received invitations from the party, they would not attend the convention due to three reasons.

The media conference commenced following the cutting of a cake to celebrate the SLFP’s 65th birthday.

Alahapperuma said they would not attend the party convention as the present leaders had betrayed the party and insulted former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at every turn in spite of his great service to the party as well as the country.

Alahapperuma said all provincial oragnisations of the party, the Association of local government members, the Association of Provincial Council members asked them not to attend the party convention.

He said seven poweful organisers including C. B. Ratnayake, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Pavirthra Wanniarachchi, Keheliya Rambukwella, Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Gamini Lokuge and Jagath Balasuriya had been removed as party organisers 20 days prior to the convention.

"These members obtained the highest number of preferential votes at the last general election from their respective districts, but were replaced with those who cannot win even a local government election," Alahapperuma said.

Alahapperuma said former President Rajapaksa had been invited by the Malaysian government to attend the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) as its Chairman and the second speech was allocated to him after the Malaysian Prime Minister.

However, some bankrupt politicians were trying to have the public believe that the former Presidnet had left for Malasia to avoid the party convention, Alahapperuma said.

He said the Joint Opposition asked the Malaysian government through its High Commission here to ensure former President Rajapaksa’s security in their country as pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora staged a protest against the arrival of Rajapaksa.

Ratnapura District MP Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Matara District MP Dullas Alahapperuma, Colombo District MPs Bandula Gunawardena and Gamini Lokuge, Gampaha District MPs Prasanna Ranatunga and Prasanna Ranaweera also attended the media conference.
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