Has Mahinda Rajapaksa's May Day rally become a challenge for the SLFP and how do you think this will affect the future of the party?
This is no challenge for political parties. The SLFP has had to face much bigger challenges than this. There was only one May day rally with the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. What the SLFP supporters should have done was to participate in the May Day rally held by the SLFP. What was being held at Galle Face was the Podu Jana Peramuna rally. Hence the supporter should know which rally they must attend. Although Mahinda Rajapaksa makes various statements to the media, he will never leave the SLFP as ke knows he will be no one the day he leaves the party. Even though he works with the Joint Opposition, he will not leave the SLFP. There is a set of traitors who together with the UNP are trying to destabilize the SLFP. Even in the past there were such people and even now, many of those close to Mahinda are UNPers.
However, Basil Rajapaksa had said that the final nail is to be placed on the SLFP. How can the party strive to win when the party organisers are being removed?
You are talking about Janaka Bandara Tennakoon. Udaya Gamanpila is with him and he entertained Champika Ranawaka who was willing to leave Mahinda and accept positions in the UNP. This shot was fired by Udaya Gamanpila. Janaka Bandara Tennakoon was instrumental in going against Mahinda and crossing over to support Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumarathunge together with 65 others. It is a well known fact that he could not win an election, and that is why he got onto Mahinda's stage and obtained his posts.
His father, T.B. Tennakoon was a devout SLFP figure and we all respect him for what he has done for the party. He suffered many hardships in order to raise the party. If Maithripala Sirisena hit the final nail in the SLFP coffin, then Janaka Bandara Tennakoon was the one who laid the plan for it. If we did not stand by Maithripala Sirisena, the UNP would have nailed him to the wall by now. If not for us this country would have been sold by now. The main reason for Mahinda's defeat is Basil Rajapaksa, secondly its Namal and then the rest of his family. It is not us who were the reason for his defeat.
When the President wanted Sarath Fonseka to take on responsibility of the security forces, the SLFP members themselves were against it. Does this signify that there are issues within the party?
On that p[articular day I was not present at the Cabinet meeting. However, when I inquired from several level headed members, they explained that the topic of discussion was the never ending protests and the debate was going on. With the intention of defusing the tensions and bringing in some humour to the grim meeting, the President had then turned to Fonseka jokingly and asked if he could take over and resolve this issue. However, this was blown out of context by the ones subjected to the joke. President Maithripala Sirisena is certainly not someone who would use such a trump card to quell these protests. It was a joke at the Cabinet meeting that was blown out of proportion. Now they are trying to justify these rumours. However as SLFPers we state that the President never made such a statement. Even some of the UNPers said that it was a joke that went a long way.
So it was an unwanted joke made by the President that created all this hype?
Yes it was. As the media even you can understand what had transpired at the meeting. This something that was misinterpreted by some. This is the truth about how this whole issue erupted.
Does it mean that the SLFP is definitely opposed to such a proposal?
I remember when I was about 16, the UNP brought in laws to curtail our fundamental rights. There are still some of them within the UNP. This maybe a joke for the UNP but it certainly is not a joke for the SLFP.
Has the Meethotamulla garbage issue been resolved and what is the conflict between you and Patali Champika?
I don’t get into conflict with anyone I am an innocent soul.
But it seemed like there was a conflict between you and Patali Champika?
No matter where they bring solutions from, be it Japan or any other country, but the solutions for this issue should be handled by those who are responsible. There is no point in palming the blame onto others. Garbage management is the responsibility of the relevant Provincial Councils and Local Government institutions. This is like a cat mother trying to give her cat daughter in marriage to a divine being forgetting the fact that her daughter is a cat. Eventually she realizes and then steps down from her high horse and finds a cat groom for her daughter. This situation is the same and the garbage issue has to finally be resolved by those responsible for it. We are just waiting and watching.
Now who is the cat here?
I dont know for sure, but just wait and see it will come out at the right time.