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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2707

A massive crowd, more than 30,000 were present at the Kurunegala rally - “Bring Back Mahinda”

Colombo, 09 May, (

A massive crowd, more than 30,000 were present yesterday at the 4th campaign rally held at the Welagedara grounds, Kurunegala, under the “Bring Back Mahinda” theme, which demands to name former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Ministerial candidate in the next general election. A total of 55 SLFP Parliamentarians were present at the rally to express their support.

The rally was organised jointly by the Mahajana Eksath the National Freedom Front, the Democratic Left Front and the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya.

National Freedom Front leader Wimal Weerawansa stated that the Mahinda Rajapaksa faction will not ask President Sirisena to name Rajapaksa as the Prime Ministerial candidate.

Speaking at the pro-Rajapaksa rally at Kurunegala yesterday evening, Weerawansa said that the people will make Rajapaksa the PM candidate.

Weerawansa said Sirisena is trying to satisfy both the 6.2 million people that voted for him and 5.8 million that voted for Rajapaksa. He is doing his best to satisfy the UNP and TNA among others, and is pretending to satisfy the Rajapaksa camp too. However, Sirisena must choose which side he is in immediately, Weerawansa said.

The NFF leader also slammed the policies of the government which he said was dragging the country to division. Therefore, all people must unite and rise with Rajapaksa to save the country, he insisted.

Addressing the rally being held in front of Welagedara Sports ground, MP T.B. Ekanayake said that 55 parliamentarians are attending in the rally.

It was also significant that Jayaratne Herath, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Dallas Alahapperuma, G.L. Pieris, Weerakumara Dissanayake, S.M. Chandrasena, Bandula Gunawardena, Kamala Ranatunga, Sriyani Wijewickrama and Mailni Fonseka attended the rally.

In addition, it was also announced that Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena as well as MP Dilum Amunugama have arrived at the grounds, however, they could not reach the stage.

Western Provincial Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, accompanied with several provincial councilors has joined in the rally.

27 provincial councilors out of 34 of the North Western Provincial Council and 17 councilors from the North Central Provincial Council are also participating in the rally.

In addition, North Central Provincial Council former Chief Minister S.M. Ranjith and former governors Alavi Moulana, Tikiri Kobbekaduwa, Tissa R Balagalla have also joined this rally.

Addressing the rally former minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage replied to a statement made yesterday by Minister Mangala Samaraweera.

In the meantime, Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said, in a statement, that he would be back on the SLFP led UPFA stage soon and the date would be decided by the people.

In his message read out at a mammoth rally at the Welagedara grounds, Kurunegala Rajapaksa apologized to the people there for not attending the rally in the Kurunegala District in which he got 555,086 votes at the January’s presidential election.

The former President’s message was read by former Minister and SLFP Vice President Dullas Alahapperuma at the rally. "When defeating the LTTE, my government and I faced the same accusations, allegations and pressure as we do today under the UNP-led government," Rajapaksa said, adding that all including his defeat were due to conspiracies.

But for the people who had rallied round him, he would even have lost his life at the hands of the conspirators, the former President said in his statement.

The UNP-led government could not stop the on-going campaign to safeguard the rights of 5.8 million people who voted for him at the presidential election vis-a-vis baseless allegations and repressive measures, the former President said.

"I will be back on the UPFA stage soon, but it is the people who will decide when I should do so," the former President said, adding that he was certain the people’s support for him was as solid as Athugala in Kurunegala.

- Asian Tribune -

A massive crowd, more than 30,000 were present  at the  Kurunegala rally -  “Bring Back Mahinda”
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