The presidential campaign committee of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) has reportedly recommended that the administrative affairs of the party's local level should be governed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, their presidential nominee.
Although the recent collapse of a large cutout promoting SLPP campaign built in Maharagama city causing serious property damage on August 11 was predicted to be the prime reason, there have been other observations made by the committee prior to the incident influencing the recommendation, according to reports.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa had promised the country that he will carry out an environmentally friendly campaign for upcoming polls without the use of plastics and polythene. However, SLPP activists on local level seemed to have not given in to the instructions and acted without awareness of their candidate's policy statement - a stance of which the discipline of the local SLPP activists is questionable, the committee pointed out.
Last week, a Pradeshiya Sabha member of the SLPP was seized on suspicion of murder and was accompanied by an underworld member. Hundreds of local activists for the SLPP over since February, 2018 were arrested on various allegations, among whom there were drug dealers and people involved in corruption, and therefore, their association onto the political stage of Gotabaya Rajapaksa would severely damage his good image, the committee further pointed out.
Accordingly, the next step of Gotabaya Rajapaksa's political campaign is to ensure that all local SLPP activists in the country should be placed under the direct supervision of the presidential campaign committee, for which Gotabaya Rajapaksa should be taking the control of the administrative affairs of the Pradeshiya Sabha, the committee recommended.
However, this may be a very problematic request as Gotabaya Rajapaksa is not yet a member of the SLPP, sources said.