The Sunday Leader

“Going For Early Election Was Unwise” – Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, MP

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa handed over the chairmanship of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) to President Maithripala Sirisena last Friday. Upon this decision, it is said that the SLFP members have extended their support to President Sirisena unanimously. The SLFP members who backed former President Mahinda Rajapaksa a week ago now claim that they have extended their support to President Maithripala Sirisena for he had been their former General Secretary.  Speaking to The Sunday Leader, SLFP MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said that the decision was taken to save the SLFP members from the thuggery of the UNP.

Excerpts of the interview:


By Waruni Karunarathne


Q: Did the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa did a mistake by calling for an early election?

A: I do not know if he had personal or any other reason why he could not diverse that decision. But I personally believe that going for an early election at that point was completely unnecessary and unwise. Why would anybody go for an early election when there were more than two years. Advancing the election was not required but I do not know if he had any personal reasons.


Q: The new government has already commenced investigations into alleged corruption. Would you support their investigations?

A: Definitely. No corruption should be allowed in the country. But the issue is that every government as soon as they come to power talk about corruption but when looking at the history nobody has been punished. I hope the investigations of the new government will also not end like the previous ones. As a party we will extend our support to carry out these investigations. We will extend our support unconditionally for this purpose.


Q: Will the SLFP support the new government on the 100-day programme?

A: If they are really interested in going ahead of the 100-day programme without alterations, we will support it. We will unconditionally support that programme. They will have to deliver what they promised to the nation.


Q: Some of the SLFP members have said that President Maithripala Sirisena won because of ‘Eelam vote’. Is it fair to polarize a community in that manner?

A: How could we say whether it is Eelam votes or not. People have simply voted for him. He is people’s president. All such comments are unwanted now. Whether it is Eelam or not, whether it is North or East, people have voted with their free will. That is all. They must thank the previous government for holding a democratic election where they could vote freely.


Q: Is the UPFA preparing to face a general election after April?

A: If the election comes we will face it. And the people will have to support us. Otherwise we will not be able to win. During the last election there were a series of election promises. They will have to fulfil them. If they fulfil those promises people might not vote for anybody other than them. In that case we might have to face a defeat. That’s all.


Q: Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has handed over the chairmanship of the SLFP to President Maithripala Sirisena. Why was this decision taken?

A: Maithripala Sirisena had been the former General Secretary of the SLFP. He broke away from the party, contested the election and won the election. Even though some members of the SLFP crossed over, all the members have not done so. And immediately after the election, there has been a series of hammering, some killings and threatening – such varied attacks are being carried out and the victims are from the SLFP. Mr. Maithripala also wants to get the control of the party and therefore it is a matter of giving him the presidency of the party and asking to save the members of the SLFP from UNP thuggery. It is not Mr. Maithripala who is carrying out these attacks. It is the UNP members who have started such thuggery around the country. In my electorate also, UNP members had carried out attacks on SLFP members in the area. They have burnt the houses and threatened people. This decision was taken to save the SLFP.


Q: What is the way forward for the SLFP?

A: Our future is to support Mr. Maithripala Sirisena. He is our former General Secretary and we have worked with him for over 30 years. We do not believe in UNP or we will not work with the UNP. Right now we are in pain.

5 Comments for ““Going For Early Election Was Unwise” – Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, MP”

  1. Gamarala

    MR did not hand over the leadership to protect SLFPers from thuggery. He realized that the majority of his supporters started deserting him. Further as per newspaper reports his primary request was to protect his family.

    Also in a legal battle MR was in a very weak position due to the amendment to the SLFP constitution introduced by his own supporters.

    This is the reality.

  2. laxman

    Where was his voice up to the election day ? A hypocrite like all other UPFA colleagues

  3. L. Perera

    The man who was driving in the wrong direction !!

  4. Cren

    These are all hooked up stories as there should be some way to creep. You conscious tells you what is good and bad, if bad they should fight for righteous or walkaway. Back boneless always waiting to ‘anunage panan eliya balanna’. They are the people who slung mud on Mathri and now talk of ape janadipathi hypocrites. By some issues comming to light if the election took a turn back just imagine what would have been the faith of the people who voted for yapalana and Mathri himself.

  5. daggy

    Yapa Abeywardene do not attempt to emulate Sumanadasa.

    let bygones be bygones…………..
    Just tell your Laeder to order investigations to All Crimes since 1994

    Then it will be fair Justice.

    Yapa Abey…….. there was no UNP.

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