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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2963

A Coalition of strange bedfellows - Ranil, Mangla and Chandrika being contemplated - Analysts

By Walter Jayawardhana

Colombo,20 March, ( United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera have simultaneously called for unity among those who want to protect democracy to counter what they have called “an emerging government tyranny.”

This has led to some political speculation that both groups and former President Chandrika Bandaranaika are attempting to come together in an alliance to launch an attack on the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Ranil Wickremesinghe said at the last United National Party special sessions held at Sirikotha, the party headquarters, which it is time for all those who love democracy should come forward and be united against the Rajapaksa Company, a reference to the government.

He further said even there are differences between those who love democracy those differences could be eventually narrowed if those people come together on a united platform.

Meanwhile the former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has told Colombo’s Daily Mirror newspaper that a unity is necessary encompassing United National Party elements and SLFP elements together with former President Chandrika Bandaranaike.

The Daily Mirror newspaper said, “ Former Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday called on all democratic forces to come together to work against what he termed as `the emerging tyranny` in the country.”

Samaraweera said even though former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has expressed the view that she is not interested in politics there is room even for her in this coalition.

Despite Samaraweera’s denial, by all her activities and dealings the former President since day one after her Presidency ended has shown all proclivities to re-enter active politics.
Obviously angered by the new enmity created between him and his former friend, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Samaraweera said that a small clique cannot be allowed to destroy democracy.

Colombo analysts said a link between the UNP and Samaraweera has been eased by the fact his close friend S. B. Dissanayaka is now the National Organizer of the United National Party. Like Dissanayaka , Samaraweera has also been an anti-war activist in the Sudu Nelum movement , funded by foreign NGO’s.

Their friendship was openly demonstrated during the crisis of Olympic medalist Susanthika Jayasinghe when the former Minister S. B. Dissanayaka was alleged to have been instrumental in lacing the urine samples of Jayasinghe with prohibitive drugs in retaliation of by her refusal of sexual favors to the Minister.

Referring to his private life style and in contempt of the runner and inferring she is having a masculine physique Samaraweera openly said that if the allegations were against him, rather than against Dissanayaka who is supposed to be a ladies’ man, there could have been some credibility in the story. Since it was later proved the samples of urine were not sealed by the Ministry of Sports officials the runner was exonerated and proceeded to Olympics to win the country a medal after 52 years in the Olympic history.

During the crisis UNP led by Ranil Wickremesinghe promised a public inquiry but swept it under the carpet after S. B. Dissanayaka joined the UNP government. Jayasinghe made the sexual allegation in a Los Angeles Times interview made at Sydney, Australia.

- Asian Tribune -

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