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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2556

First Public Rally of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna in Jaffna on 30th, this month

By K.T.Rajasingham
Jaffna, 18 September, (

A frontline leader of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Basil Rajapaksa is expected to visit Jaffna on the 30th of this month, to address the first public meeting to promote his new found party in the midst of the Tamils in the North.

Earlier this meeting was scheduled to be held on the 16th of this month, but later ‘Asian Tribune’ learnt that it has been rescheduled for the 30th of this month.

Thambithurai Rajeevan, formerly of the Maheswary Foundation, who is presently one of the chief organizers of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna for the Jaffna District, told ‘Asian Tribune’ that arrangements are being now made to hold the party’s first public meeting at the Veerasingham Hall, in Jaffna, on the 30th of this month.

In the meantime, Sripala Amarasinghe, formerly JVP party MP for Gampaha district and later Chairman of the State Timber Corporation, who is presently the Party’s Organizer for North and Eastern Provinces, told ‘Asian Tribune’ that they will be holding an internal organization meeting on the 26th of this month in Jaffna, to finalize the party’s public meeting, scheduled to be held on 30th of this month.

One of the other Jaffna district organizers of the Party along with Thambithurai Rajeevan is Murugesu Nadesalingham of Kopay, who was the TNA candidate in the Amparai electoral district in the 2015 parliamentary election. Earlier he was the media secretary attached to the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

‘Asian Tribune,’ also reliably learnt that Sinnadurai Thavarajah, Leader of the Opposition of the Northern Provincial Council, who is no more a member of the EPDP and has fallen out with its leader Douglas Devananda MP, has recently went and met Basil Rajapaksa and indicated his desire to join the Party.

Still it is not clear whether he has been accepted in the Party, as his admission to the Party is being severely opposed by Thambithurai Rajeevan. ‘Asian Tribune’ learnt that while both were members of the EPDP, then they both were at loggerheads.

Furthermore, at one time, Thavarasa was very closely attached to the Chief Minister C.V.Vigneswaran. Later, Chief Minister began to ignore him and when he was removed from EPDP on issues connected with the sale of one of the houses owned by Douglas Devananda in Colombo, despite UPFA General Secretary informed the Chairman of the Northern Provincial Council to remove him from the position of the Leader of the Opposition of the Council, however he still continues to remain in the same position.

Recently, Chief Minister Vigneswaran who openly fell out with him, let the cat out, when he told the Northern Provincial Council Assembly that Thavarajah remains the leader of the opposition, at the mercy of C. V. K. Sivagnanam, Chairman of the Assembly.

As Thavarajah has been deprived of the EPDP membership, he is said to be hunting for a place in the Sri Lanka Podujana Perumuna, it is learnt.

In the meantime, recently Basil Rajapaksa claims that the party's membership had increased to 2 million over the past two months.

He stated that the aim of the SLPP is to increase its membership to 3 million by the end of 2017 and make it a strong political rival to the United National Party (UNP).

Basil Rajapaksa, a former Minister added that the party's publicity drive has already been completed at district level, while the programme aimed at enlightening the people of the party and its policies has also reached its final stage at electorate level.

As a part of the membership drive, SLPP has made inroads in the North and East. When Mahinda Rajapaksa was in Trincomalee on the 3rd of Juy, on a propaganda drive of the Joint Oppostion, busloads of Tamil supporters from Jaffna led by Nadesalingham participated in that Trincomalee rally.

‘Asian Tribune,’ also learnt that Amarasinghe has already visited the Vanni districts in the North - Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya and Mannar, laid foundations for the organization of the Party in these districts.

It is further said, the Party has already received applications from prospective candidates from these districts to contest in the party ticket in the Pradesha Sabhas – Local Government bodies.

Latest information, revealed as seething confrontation within the Jaffna district SLFP organization between Angkajan Ramanathan MP’s camp and other aspirants, has publicly emerged and visible, caused majority of the former SLFPers in the district to join the Sri Lanka Podujana Perumuna in great numbers.

- Asian Tribune –

Basil Rajapaksa is seen entering Nallur Temple to pray along with G.A. Chadrasri  former Governor of the Northern Province – File Photo
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