-SLFP Vice Chairman Shan Wijayalal's Switch to SJB Sets Stage for Caste-Political Battle in Galle District
(Lanka-e-News -05.Jan.2024, 8.30 PM) In a surprising turn of events, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Vice Chairman, Shan Wijayalal, joined the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) on January 1, 2024, marking a significant shift in the political landscape. Wijayalal, a three-time Chief Minister of the Southern Province and former Governor of the Eastern Province, hails from the Karawa caste, and this move is anticipated to trigger a caste-based political war in the Galle district.
Wijayalal's switch to the SJB, a party led by Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa, hints at a strategic alliance that aims to reshape the political dynamics in the region. The infusion of caste considerations into the political narrative adds a new layer of complexity to an already volatile political environment.
Adding fuel to the fire, several other politicians from the Karawa caste have joined the SJB, further intensifying the brewing caste-political battle. Professor Hon G L Peries, Hon Channa Jayasumana, and Hon Dilan Perera are among those who have aligned themselves with Premadasa's party, setting the stage for a fierce political contest in the upcoming elections.
On the other side of the spectrum, Dayasritha Tissera, a seasoned politician from the Karawa caste in the Puttalam District, has also joined the SJB. Tissera's political journey, spanning over three decades, has seen him navigate through various political landscapes. From his early days with the People's Alliance to his key role in the United People's Freedom Alliance (SLFP), Tissera has been a prominent figure in Sri Lankan politics.
Tissera's contributions to the development of infrastructure post the civil war and his role as the Cabinet Minister of State Resource and Enterprise Development under President Mahinda Rajapaksha have positioned him as a significant player. His allegiance to the SJB is likely to influence political dynamics in the Puttalam District.
The SJB's recruitment strategy doesn't stop with the Karawa caste, as Hon Nalaka Godahewa, hailing from the Salawa caste, has also joined the opposition ranks. Godahewa, known for his role as the Minister of Mass Media in President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's cabinet, was a key figure in the Viyathmaga organization and played a pivotal role in the SLPP's victory in the 2019 elections.
However, Godahewa's departure from the SLPP and subsequent formation of the Freedom People's Front, a party with a helicopter as its electoral symbol, adds an intriguing twist to the political narrative. The alliances formed with Dullas Alahapperuma's Freedom People's Congress and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party further showcase the intricate web of political maneuvering in the country.
The developments underscore the shifting sands of Sri Lankan politics, where caste affiliations are becoming increasingly entwined with political loyalties. As these alliances solidify, the stage is set for a caste-driven political battle that could reshape the political landscape in key districts, setting the tone for the upcoming elections. The implications of this caste-political war are profound, raising questions about the future of governance and representation in Sri Lanka.
by (2024-01-05 15:09:04)
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