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Election Commission issues statement on UPFA’s General Secretary post

The Elections Commission says that Minister Mahinda Amaraweera or MP Thilanga Sumathipala holding the post of General Secretary of the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) will not be accepted until relevant inquiries are over.

In a response letter issued to Minister Amaraweera, the Additional Commissioner of Elections (Legal and Investigation) emphasizes that it has drawn attention to all the facts presented by both parties.
Furthermore, the letter mentions that since the issue is currently being heard before courts, the commission will suspend accepting Minister Mahinda Amaraweera or MP Thilanga Sumathipala as the General Secretary of the UPFA until a verdict is delivered by the court.

Last year, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) decided to remove the MPs of the party who have accepted ministerial portfolios in the incumbent government from all their positions in the party.

Accordingly, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Mahinda Amaraweera, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Jagath Pushpakumara and Chamara Sampath Dassanayake were removed from all positions held by them in the party and were also stripped of their SLFP central committee membership.

In the meantime, the Central Committee of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) had unanimously decided to appoint MP Thilanga Sumathipala as the General Secretary of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), on November 21, 2022.

However, the following day five constituent parties of the UPFA had declared that they did not accept MP Thilanga Sumathipala as the new General Secretary of the political alliance, pointing out that they were not notified regarding the removal of Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, who was the General Secretary of the UPFA, or the appointment of a new General Secretary.

Further, they pointed out that the executive council or the allied parties of the alliance must be informed in this regard in accordance with the constitution of the UPFA and its previous precedents.

However, a case pertaining to the matter, filed by Minister Mahinda Amaraweera is being heard in the Colombo District Court.

The relevant case was filed by Minister Amaraweera naming several respondents, including President of the UPFA Maithripala Sirisena, MPs Dayasiri Jayasekara, Vadivel Suresh, Thilanga Sumathipala and others, challenging the decision to remove him from the post of Secretary General of the UPFA.