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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 78

Bandaranaikes join hands to undercut their own candidate:...

[b]Bandaranaikes join hands to undercut their own candidate: Mahinda Rajapakse[/b]

From our Colombo Correspondent

Colombo, 13 September, ( Anura Bandaranaike, Foreign Minister, has joined his sister, President Chandrika Kumaratunga, in undermining the presidential candidate nominated by the SLFP, Mahinda Rajapakse.

He told the Daily Mirror (September 13, 2005) that he has lost interest in the presidential campaign because a major damage has been done to the party with Mahinda Rajapakse joining the “extremist forces” – meaning the JVP.

Talking to the Daily Mirror from London he said: “I really don’t care about the outcome of the election now since the party’s long upheld principles have been betrayed. Our party’s candidate has joined hands with extremist forces and understandably I and my sister strongly feel a major damage has been done to the party by his actions.”

He is on his way from London to join his sister in New York who is attending the UN Summit on poverty.

Anura Bandaranaike was hoping to be the presidential candidate at the end of two-terms of his sister. But the SLFP nominated Mahinda Rajapakse and was later endorsed by the president of the party, Chandrika Kumaratunga.

There is speculation that the leader of Ceylon Workers’ Congress (consisting largely of Indian estate workers) and also a minister in Kumaratunga’s Cabinet, Arumugan Thondaman, will throw in his lot with the Bandaranaikes. He is currently with Kumaratunga in New York as member of the President’s delegation to the United Nations. Anura Bandaranaike is quoted as saying that Thondaman will do exactly what the President wants.

“But at this point even I don’t know what she is going to tell the CWC leader. I will join the President and Mr. Thondaman tomorrow in New York and I should be in a position to tell what the plans are after that,” Minister Bandaranaike said.

Political speculation hints at President Kumaratunga working out a deal with Thondaman to nominate spring a surprise on nomination day by putting forward another presidential candidate.

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