Religious activities will take pride of place at the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.
The main ceremony to commemorate the party’s 60th anniversary will be held today at Temple Trees under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. An Anniversary Week was declared to celebrate the SLFP’s 60th anniversary from August 30 – September 05 and many programmes are to be launched during this period.
According to party sources, a membership drive, seminars and workshops have been planned to be held all over the country during this week.
Commenting on the event, SLFP sources said the SLFP led UPFA government brought freedom to the entire country by eradicating LTTE terrorism which plagued the nation for more than 30 years. The progressive people of the country elected President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the 5th executive President when the country was on the verge of being divided by the separatists with the support of treacherous local and international elements.
The SLFP played a pivotal role in lifting the sagging morale of Security Forces to fight the separatists and strengthen the territorial integrity and independence of the country. The SLFP was founded by former Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike with former member of the State Council and later Parliamentarian D A Rajapaksa and H Sri Nissanka.
Former Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike changed the political landscape of the country by establishing the Sri Lanka Freedom Party on September 02, 1951 with a view to make the independence we won in 1948 more meaningful.
Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike placed more confidence in the rural intelligentsia, consisting of the members of the Sangha, the Ayurvedic physician, the village school master, the farmers and the labourers.
He played a key role in nurturing these groups as a minister of the Donoughmore Government with a firm view of creating an alternative leadership.
The SLFP which emerged as a democratic alternative to the UNP and Marxist parties contested the first election in 1952.
The SLFP firmly based on the rural masses achieved a landmark victory in 1956. The SLFP led Mahajana Eksath Peramuna Governement effected many changes and the administrative powers of the country was devolved in the hands of new social class in the country.
The party was steered by Sirimavo Bandaranaike who gained the credit of becoming the world’s first female Prime Minister after the assassination of her husband SWRD Bandaranaike by a man in yellow in robes 1959.
Mrs Bandaranaike following in the footsteps of her late husband and made the independence won by the country more meaningful by declaring the country a Republic in 1972. This move helped remove the colonial shackles we were bound with until that time.
She steered the country for more than 40 years until her demise in 2000. She was Prime Minister on three occasions.
The Sri Lanka Freedom party has produced two executive Presidents.
Courtesy: Daily News