The Sunday Leader

SLPP Will Fill Long Felt Need- Professor G. L. Peiris

The Chairman of the newly formed political party, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), Professor G. L. Peiris claims that the new party will fill a long felt need of the country. Subsequent to becoming the Chairman of the new party, Professor Peiris was suspended from his membership of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). In an interview with The Sunday Leader, he said Sri Lanka Freedom Party supporters can no longer identify themselves with the group that is representing as the SLFP. The former Foreign Minister said that supporters of the SLFP can no longer identify with, let alone support, a party led by the present leadership which has openly declared that it was responsible for the defeat of the party.  He says it is quite clear today that the official SLFP is a mere instrument of the UNP, led and manipulated by the latter. According to Peiris, many prominent members of the SLFP will be joining his party. He also expressed hope that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will accept the leadership of the new party. He also warned that the Joint Opposition has launched a public campaign to expose the ‘Top Ten’ corrupt personalities in the Good Governance government, and all the relevant documentation is being presented to the Bribery Commission.

Following are excerpts of the interview:

by Thushari Nathaniel

Q: Why did you decide to form the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna at this point and what are its goals?

A: The newly formed party, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, represents a response to a widespread demand in our society today. There is deep disappointment with the performance of the government in power. This is due to the massive gap between promise and delivery. In particular, supporters of the SLFP can no longer identify with, let alone support, a party led by the present leadership which has openly declared that it was responsible for the defeat of the Party. It is quite clear today that the official SLFP is a mere instrument of the UNP, led and manipulated by the latter party. It is to fill a yawning chasm that the new party has been formed.


Q: One of the main reasons for the defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa was the  attitude among minority communities and civil society that the Rajapaksa regime was racist. How do you propose to overcome this notion where the new party is concerned?

A: This is changing rapidly. The minorities realize today that they have been duped by a skillfully orchestrated campaign which began at least two years before the Presidential Election of 2015. Just a week ago, a delegation of Muslim leaders, including members of the now defunct local bodies, met former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at his Nelum Mawatha Office. They explained that their business ventures have collapsed, and that they are now facing economic difficulties which they never encountered under the previous government. Similarly, an influential delegation from the up-country tea plantation areas, at a meeting with the former President, lamented that their grievances are not even listened to. They promised to take the leadership in forming public opinion in the Tamil speaking areas.


Q: The SLFP Maithripala faction claims that they were waiting for this opportunity to throw the Rajapaksa clan out of the SLFP. Does this bother you?

A: Far from the ‘Maithripala faction’ throwing the Rajapaksas out of the SLFP, it is doubtful whether even 5% of SLFP members will stand by the present leadership. Will any SLFP member or supporter in his senses relate to a leader who publicly proclaims that he defeated his Party? The universal clamour is for the leadership of Mahinda Rajapaksa.


Q: The main allegations that swung the vote in favour of the Maithripala led coalition was the accusations that top leaders of the Rajapaksa regime had swindled billions of money. However, to date they have not been able to prove any of these allegations. Your thoughts?

A: Nothing has been proved because the allegations are baseless and politically motivated. On the other hand, the public have seen for themselves that the present government is the most corrupt in our county’s history. The Central Bank bond scams alone has cost the country 1,000 billion rupees. The Joint Opposition has begun a public campaign to expose the ‘Top Ten’ corrupt personalities in the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government, and all the relevant documentation is being presented to the Bribery Commission.


Q: Will there be any other SLFP members from the Unity government joining the new party?

A: This will certainly happen in due course. It is our hope and expectation that  Mahinda Rajapaksa will lead the new party. This is the public demand. We will also work very closely with the parties in the Joint Opposition, as we have been doing during the last two years.


Q: Why was the Joint Opposition silent at the COPE deliberations into the Central Bank bond issue?

A: The Joint Opposition was far from silent at the COPE deliberations. On the contrary, our members like Mahindananda Aluthgamage played a very vigorous role in exposing the scale and consequences of this fraud, thereby frustrating repeated efforts which were made to suppress the whole matter.           We have been consistently acting in demanding criminal prosecution of those responsible, as well as prompt action to recover the monies which have been stolen from our people.


Q: What is your view on Sri Lanka’s current foreign policy and strained relations with China?

A: Sri Lanka’s current foreign policy is basically skewed, because we have lost our sense of identity. We have simply lined ourselves as a junior partner of a power bloc, and have thereby reduced ourselves to a position where we are taken for granted. This is no way to derive the maximum benefit for our country from the conduct of foreign relations. The basic fault is that the present government finds itself unable to distinguish between friendship and servility.

     The most outrageous manifestation of the distortions is in our relationship with the People’s Republic of China. The UNP insulted and humiliated China during the Presidential Election campaign, then had to eat their own words after being elected to office, and both the President and the Prime Minister visited China to revive major projects like the Port City Project, which had been arbitrarily and unjustifiably suspended. We are now treated to the ridiculous spectacle of a stand-off with China, while the government pleads for more and more economic assistance from that country.


Q: How do you envisage the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna’s future?

A: The start has been incredibly promising, and has surpassed all expectations.  Our initial target was a membership of one million in the first phase. It is now evident that this will be exceeded significantly, because of very high demand. It is very much our hope that Mahinda Rajapaksa will agree to take over the leadership of the party as soon as possible. That is the clamour of the party membership, and the public generally.


Q: Do you see this budget as one that will bring any relief to the people?

A: Not at all. It is a Budget without any direction or practical insight. It is teeming with contradictions. Like the last Budget, it is certain to be truncated and mauled.  Already there are demands that major Budget proposals be withdrawn or basically revamped. The whole process is lacking in seriousness, and is certainly not designed to win the confidence of investors and infuse fresh capital into the economy.


Q: How do you see the current situation in the country where intelligence officers are being exposed and punished, and how do you think this will affect the country?

A: It is nothing short of scandalous. Laws which are intended to suppress terrorism are being blatantly used against intelligence officers. This is leading to demoralization on a very extensive scale, with distressing implications for the future.


Q: The government claims that the SLFP-UNP coalition is very stable and the country is moving forward. Do you see such progress and stability?

A: Not in the least. This is a coalition not between the UNP and the SLFP, but between the UNP and its own adjunct, a devitalized and subjugated rump of the SLFP. Supporters of the SLFP up and down the country do not identify with this group at all, but are clamouring in large numbers and with the great enthusiasm to join the new party. 


4 Comments for “SLPP Will Fill Long Felt Need- Professor G. L. Peiris”

  1. surath

    This Bastard GL Pundai Peiris must be burnt alive in the vihar mahadevi Park
    an absolute para jadaya
    this old bastard ruined the foreign ministry for Years

  2. jagath

    thisman who ruined the Foreign for years is an absolute dud
    he should be kickedout of Parliament
    this currup old man is not worth two cents in the interlectual sense,all old
    material recycled
    useless bugger
    wew curse him

  3. Leon

    This idiotic so called professor has no shame.

  4. sugath

    this man GL peiris is a pol thakkadiya,he ruined the foreign Ministry for nearly 12 years
    a Full blooded Dud
    I have double econ law degree fro MonashI will do the JOb 1000 better than this full blooded Duffer
    throw him out of Parliament
    he is recycled Material no use to any body,I feel sorry for Mahinda in a Way

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