SLMC In Crisis Over Agreement With Govt.
By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
The SLMC is in crisis over the decision to support the governing UPFA for the administration of the Eastern Provincial Council.
The meeting of the SLMC High Command, the party’s decision making body, had to be adjourned midway due to protests by many members over the decision of the party leadership and a few members to join the government in the Eastern Provincial Council. A member of the SLMC High Command on condition of anonymity said the members had objected to the manner in which the party leadership had reached the decision to back the governing party.
“The final decision was made without any consultation with the High Command and without any transparency,” the member said.
He explained that the party has failed to achieve its political strategies with its decision to back the government.
The SLMC initially demanded the post of Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council and later agreed to allow a governing party member to be appointed as the Chief Minister.
SLMC High Command members have said the leadership which negotiated with the government had got two ministerial portfolios for the party.
“There are five portfolios in the Council including that of the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister has been appointed from the governing party and two ministerial portfolios have been given to the SLMC. One Sinhalese and one Tamil councillor are to be appointed to the two remaining portfolios,” the High Command member said.
However, he explained with the resignation of Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, the government is now looking at handing a ministerial portfolio to a representative of Minister A. L. M. Athaullah.
“This is a negative mark for the SLMC’s strategy,” he said, adding that the SLMC has not got the Chief Ministerial post and has failed in achieving its political strategy.
SLMC Leader and Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem had said the High Command would be convened after more discussions with the government.
Many attempts by The Sunday Leader to contact Hakeem failed.