SLFP stages massive show of strength

[TamilNet, Sunday, 04 March 2001, 16:25 GMT]
In a massive show of strength the Sri Lanka freedom Party (SLFP) gathered more than hundred thousand supporters and members for its golden jubilee celebrations and 13th national convention Sunday in Colombo. The SLFP, the chief constituent and convenor of Sri Lanka's ruling People's Alliance (PA), was established in 1951 by the President Chandrika Kumaratunga's father Mr. Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike (1899-1959) and was led by her mother, Sirimao Ratwatte Dias Banadaranaike (1916-2000), after his death. Addressing the rally at the Colombo racecourse grounds, the Sri Lankan President reiterated her stand on the ethnic conflict that peace talks could begin with the Liberation Tiger without her government declaring a cease-fire.

Mr.Douglas Devananda, the leader of the Eelam People's Democratic Party, a key coalition partner of the PA, also spoke at the rally.

The convention began around 12 noon. Thousands of party supporters and members were brought to the island's capital by bus from all parts of the country except the north and several parts of the east.

The President dwelt at some length, among other things, on the radical Marxist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP, People's Liberation Front), the rise of which is considered detrimental to the traditional rural Sinhala Buddhist support base of the SLFP.

 

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