’Pohottuwa’ symbol a stumbling block

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The SLPP’s ‘pohottuwa’ symbol has turned out to be the biggest stumbling block to an SLFP-SLPP alliance, SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara said yesterday.

He said the SLFP was ready to accept any symbol other than the ‘pohotuwa’ or the ‘hand’ as the symbol of the proposed alliance led by the two parties but the SLPP was determined to have the ‘pohottuwa’ as the symbol for all forthcoming elections.

The MP told a news conference that the seven rounds of talks between the SLFP and the SLPP had positive and fruitful.

“The SLFP is ready to give up the hand symbol. Sadly, the SLPP is not ready to budge an inch from the ‘pohottuwa’ symbol.” the MP said.

Responding to a journalist, he said the SLFP would contest the presidential election after forming an alliance with several other political parties in the event of the ongoing talks failed.

“The SLPP not only gave membership to a large number of SLFP members but snatched Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa and gave him the party leadership. Then after they nominated their presidential candidate and recruited several other SLFPers. They did not consult us when Gotabaya Rajapaksa was nominated as SLPP’s presidential candidate and further damaged the confidence among SLFPers when they took in SB and Dilan while discussions between the two parties were ongoing,” the MP said.

“Some SLFP supporters want the party to contest alone. Some others want it to contest the election in an alliance with the SLPP. Some others want to contest as an independent alliance with like-minded political parties. In these circumstances, the party is in a state of confusion.”