A total of 16 Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Parliamentarians have decided to crossover and sit in the Opposition Parliament, the Daily FT learns.
SLFP stalwart, MP Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, told the Daily FT that the 16 SLFP MPs who voted in favour of the No-Confidence Motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have decided to sit with the Opposition.
“We informed the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Central Committee that we would be crossing over to the Opposition in Parliament,” the MP said, adding that the crossover would take place when Parliament next met.
Accordingly, SLFP MPs Susil Premajayantha, Dayasiri Jayasekara, Dilan Perera, John Seneviratne, Lakshman Wasantha Perera, Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, Tharanath Basnayake, Susantha Punchinilame, Anura Yapa, S. B. Dissanayake, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Chandima Weerakkody, Anuradha Jayaratne, Sumedha Jayasena and Thilanga Sumathipala are to crossover to the Opposition.
However, the MP noted that they would remain as SLFP parliamentarians despite sitting in the Opposition.
The decision was taken during a meeting of the SLFP Central Committee that took place on Tuesday (17 April).
In addition, MP Abeywardena said that the 16 dissident SLFP-ers had proposed to the Central Committee that all SLFP MPs should leave the Unity Government.
“We are waiting for the response of the Central Committee regarding our proposition for the SLFP to leave the National Unity Government,” the MP said.
Furthermore, the 16 MPs had also met with religious leaders for discussion.
The next Parliament sittings have been scheduled for 8 May.