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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2401

Wimal & Other JO Parliamentarians To Snap Links With UPFA

Colombo, 24 February, (

Wimal Weerawansa , Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Udaya Gammanpila and a few other parliamentarians in the Joint Opposition, who contested the last Parliamentary elections in the ‘Betel Leaf’ of the UPFA are said to be considering in terms of snapping links with the United Peoples Freedom Alliance.

National Freedom Front (NFF) leader MP Wimal Weerawansa says that if any political connection had existed with the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA), it has already been abandoned by him.

On Wednesday, National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa requested from Speaker Karu Jayasuriya in parliament to accept five NFF MPs including himself as an independent group since they had severed all their connections with the UPFA.

Weerawansa told the House that NFF parliamentarians were no longer with the UPFA as they had severed all relations with the Alliance and asked their five MPs to be accepted as an independent group.

In a letter to the General Secretary of the UPFA Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, also copied to the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on Thursday (23), the former minister says that although his party representatives had contested the general election under the UPFA ticket, no agreement was reached between his party and the alliance in that regard.

Weerawansa said that although leaving the UPFA is regrettable, he expects that the decision will be accepted by the alliance.

Speaking in Parliament, Minister Amaraweera said the UPFA has not received a request in this regard thus far from MP Wimal Weerawansa.

The Minister said the matter must be notified not to the Speaker but to the UPFA.

Minister Amaraweera speaking as the secretary of the UPFA said if MP Wimal Weerawansa is willing to tender in his resignation from the party tomorrow, the party is willing to accept it.

The Minister said MP Weerawansa contested the election as a member of the UPFA, adding he is not a member of a different party.

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera called for MP Weerawansa to be advised through the Speaker of House to make a formal request to his party, the UPFA, about his resignation.

Meanwhile, speaking at a media briefing held at the Sri Lanka Freedom Party headquarters, Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara also commented on the request made by Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa to work as an independent MP in Parliament.

Minister Jayasekara said MP Weerawansa can work as an independent member since the National Freedom Front does not have an agreement with the United People’s Freedom Alliance.

The Minister said MP Wimal Weerawansa has raised the matter of being independent from the UPFA.

He added three parties are affiliated to the UPFA noting all other parties contested under the UPFA through the SLFP.

The Minister said the party does not consider them as contracted separately.

He said if they are not part of the party then there is no need for them to withdraw.

Minister Jayasekara said that is because they are not members of the UPFA.

Speaking on the same subject, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said although UPFA MP Wimal Weerawansa wanted to break ranks with the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), he would remain with the Joint Opposition (JO).

Responding to questions raised by journalists at Abhayaramaya in Narahenpita, Rajapaksa said not only Weerawansa many other UPFA parliamentarians who now backed the JO in Parliament would withdraw from the UPFA in the future.

Former President Rajapaksa also added, not only Wimal Weerawansa and his four MPs, but also Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Udaya Gammanpila too would function independently in Parliament soon.

"We know their decision, however they will remain with the Joint Opposition in the future too," Rajapaksa added.

Ratnapura District MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara too told Parliament: "We contested under the betel leaf symbol. We agreed to do so under the leadership of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Thereafter some got together and wrote false instruments and deprived us of our rights. We hope that our rights and the rights of those who voted for us would be protected."

Speaker Jayasuriya promised Weerawansa a decision on his request at the party leaders meeting scheduled for Thursday.

- Asian Tribune -

Wimal Weerawansa, Vasudeva Nanayakkara & Udaya Gammanpila,
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