He said this at an SLPP Media briefing held at the Party headquarters in Battaramulla.
“Our representatives are ready to have a very open minded discussion with the SLFP,” he added.
When questioned as to whether there was a rift between the SLFP and the Joint Opposition, due to the former abstaining from voting whilst the latter had voted against the second reading of the 2019 Budget on 12 March, Rajapaksa replied that there were certain differences between the two political parties.
He further said that the representatives joining the official discussions from the SLPP will be Chairman of the SLPP, Professor G.L Peiris, Dr. Jagath Wellawatte and Parliamentarian Dullas Alahapperuma, whilst SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara, Prof. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa, MPs Thilanga Sumathipala and Mahinda Amaraweera will be joining from the SLFP. “The SLFP and the SLPP are not likeminded, and it’s difficult for any two Parties to achieve this, but we still intend to start discussions with the SLFP with very open minds,” he added.
He further acknowledged the need for more SLPP representation in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces.
Meanwhile, Rajapaksa also stressed on the need for a community based mandate for a political party, highlighting the ‘Gamath Samaga Pilisandharak’ programme where the SLPP invited ideas and suggestions from the community to form the Party’s mandate.
“Unlike before, we’re not just going to have political representatives but we’re also having discussions with active community members and the clergy in order to form our mandate. We also invite private institutions and both environmental and community based organisations to propose their ideas and suggestions in this regard,” he added.