SLFP Secretary, Minister Maithripala Sirisena has been engaged in a cold war with former North Central Province Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake over the post of chief ministering the province. However, Sirisena on the 12th has said that Dissanayake should be re-appointed as the North Central Province Chief Minister considering his seniority in the party and politics.
Sirisena had made this comment during a discussion on the appointment of a chief minister to the North Central Province and all senior SLFP members have unanimously endorsed Sirisena’s proposal. The senior SLFPers have said that sidelining Dissanayake would have a negative impact on the party in future.
Meanwhile, Minister S.M. Chandrasena had told a senior Presidential staff member at Temple Trees that any move to re-appoint Dissanayake would result in the downfall of the SLFP. Chandrasena had told the official that the provincial council election was won entirely because of the President.
Dissanayake’s media coordinator said the President had promised to re-appoint him as the North Central Province Chief Minister.
The media coordinator had added that Dissanayake had to face many obstacles even from senior party members during the election campaign and that Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa had helped, Chandrasena’s brother, S.M. Ranjith get the highest number of preferential votes.
He noted that the Economic Development Ministry had made financial allocation for Ranjith to distribute 200,000 mammoties at a cost of Rs. 900 each during his election campaign. A sum of Rs. 186 million had been spent on the programme.