Aug 08, 2019

Basil's assurance on Gota Featured

The national organizer of the Sri Lanka People's Front (SLPF) former minister Basil Rajapaksa says that the presidential candidate of the SLPF will be named at the party convention which will be held on August 11.

He said in a special statement to BBC Sandeshaya that on the same day the party leadership of SLPF will be taken over by the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

He says that the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will reveal to the country the "presidential candidate of the SLPF" at the conference.

When asked whether there was any discussion with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) when selecting his party's candidate, the former minister said they had discussed it with a number of parties.

“There will be discussions with the SLFP in the next few days and we can discuss how to work together even after the candidate is revealed,” he said.

Meanwhile, the SLPF briefed the media on Thursday (August 08) at Colombo about the party's first conference targeting the next presidential election.

Party representatives stated that only the officially named persons will be allowed to attend the party convention at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium on August 11.

Journalists were constantly questioning whether the SLPF candidate was former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

Basil Rajapaksa said that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has given up his US citizenship.

“He is a leader with democratic qualities,” the former minister said at the press conference.

Responding to a question raised by a journalist, Basil Rajapaksa said that he can guarantee that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is not a cruel ruler.

When asked whether some people are afraid of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Basil Rajapaksa said, "there is nothing to be afraid of. I am sure he will be a good democrat."

Previous nominations could change - Dayasiri

Meanwhile, SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekera told BBC Sandeshaya that his party MPs would not attend the convention as there is no firm agreement between them and the SLPF on contesting the presidential election together.

He also stated that no agreement has been reached with the party regarding the nomination of the SLPF.

“The presidential election is a few months away and the candidates nominated by the various parties can change as the election nears,” said MP Dayasiri Jayasekara.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party has said that although the SLFP has not been officially invited to attend the convention, opposition members of the party have been personally invited to attend the party convention on Sunday (August 11).

Source - BBC Sandeshaya