The number of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) MPs in the parliamentary opposition has dwindled further following today’s (08) swearing-in of six party MPs as state ministers.
Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Jagath Pushpakumara, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Chamara Sampath Dassanayake, Suren Raghavan and Shantha Bandara took government seats as state ministers, with Nimal Siripala de Silva and Mahinda Amaraweera already functioning as cabinet ministers.
Only the party leader Maithripala Sirisena, Shan Wijelal, Dayasiri Jayasekara, Dushmantha Mitrapala, Angajan Ramanathan and Duminda Dissanayake remain as opposition rank SLFP MPs.
Of them, Dissanayake too, is to get a portfolio at a future cabinet reshuffle, reports say.
In retaliation to the SLFP MPs who have accepted ministerial positions, Sirisena has by now decided to expel all of them from the party.
He received more powers through a recent amendment of the party’s constitution to take strong decisions.
Amaraweera to lead new political alliance
Meanwhile, a new political alliance comprising MPs who would leave the SLFP and certain MPs of the Sri Lanka Podujana Party is on the cards.
To be led by Amaraweera, it will come in the form of a party already recognized and gazetted by the Elections Department.