Boiling many waters on Social Media, MPs Sarath Fonseka and Harin Fernando have been caught on camera clashing at the May Day rally organised by the Samagi Jana Balawegaya near the Independence Square, Colombo yesterday (01).
Believed to be a dispute on the list of speeches meant for the rally, the MPs were seen arguing with what it appeared to be a hostile response between the two, and the situation has been controlled with the intervention of other SJB members.
Calling Fernando, one of the organisers of the May Day rally, Fonseka has tried to snatch the list of speakers, saying, “Give me the paper.” “For what?” Fernando has responded. “No, just show me,” Fonseka back at Fernando.
Snatching the list by force, Fonseka has replied, “Oi, who made this list? I am the second in the party. According to protocol, I should be the one who speaks before the leader. “
According to the list of speakers, Fonseka was meant to be followed by Fernando and then party leader Sajith Premadasa.
Angered, Fonseka has continued, “Who made this list?” and as Fernando pointed at Premadasa, “You put my name before Sajith, otherwise I will not talk,’ Fonseka has replied.
“Who are you to order me?” Fernando has countered in a rage and the heated situation occurred thereafter has been controlled as MP Manusha Nanayakkara has moved Fernando away from Fonseka.
Nonetheless, Fernando has addressed the rally early at the request of Premadasa when the crowd was at its peak and after Fonseka’s speech, Dr. Harsha De Silva has been given the opportunity to speak. Premadasa has addressed the rally thereafter.
The events have also been recalled in shady comments during the two’s speeches, where Fernando, looking at Fonseka during his speech, has said, “We are not afraid of old bullies” and Fonseka back at Fernando has said that once he is the Defence Minister, he will be austere to those who hospitalise themselves in the fear of being summoned by the CID.
Meanwhile, internal SJB sources claimed that the clash between the two MPs is stemmed by a dispute over preferential votes in the Gampaha District. Fonseka has been quarrelsome since the day Fernando was appointed as the Gampaha District Organiser and in the backdrop, the Field Marshal avoided attending the final phase of the SJB march ‘Samagi Bala Pagamana’ in Kelaniya, sources added.