Sri Lanka

What’s brewing within SLFP or rather within the “Sirisena clan”?

Jan 7, 2017

The dawn of the New Year 2017 saw former President Rajapaksa’s public claim that he would oust the “Yahapalanaya” government of the conjoined parties this year, to munch along with. He left political circles excited about how and when he would take over if he did, when he chose a breakfast meeting with foreign correspondents to say he would work towards a change of government.  

PM Wickremesinghe wanted to make Rajapakasa sound a “joke” and said he would allow Rajapaksa to do whatever he wanted to, while he (PM Wickremesinghe) was away in Switzerland for a week. But Rajapaksa wouldn’t want anyone to go joking about his effort to change government in 2017. “I will not do it when Wickremesinghe is away.” Rajapaksa was quoted in the media. He said he was no “backstabber”, hinting he was no Sirisena-Wickremesinghe-Chandrika type who schemed his ouster and said the “change” would not be far away either.   

State Minister Priyankara Jayaratne’s resignation immediately after Rajapaksa’s forecast of a change of government came as a bolt from the blue for many. Jayaratne claims there are many who would follow him. There’s already speculation of a cabinet reshuffle immediately after the 2nd anniversary of Maithripala Sirisena’s swearing in as President in January 9, 2015. Since then, for President Sirisena, the past two years were all about scheming and manoeuvering to gain control of the SLFP.

Obviously, arm twisting, threats and offers of positions in the government cannot go on for long without any serious change in the balance of power within the party. With LG elections and 3 PC elections lined up for 2017, President Sirisena has much to lose and Rajapaksa not so much.   

Read more at:

Daily Mirror, January 6, 2017



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