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

Rajapakse woos JVP and JHU

[b]Rajapakse woos JVP and JHU[/b]

By Sugeeswara Senadhira - Bureau Chief, Asian Tribune, Colombo

Colombo, 30 August, ( Prime Minister and Presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapakse at the upcoming elections, is moving towards an agreement with the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) to obtain their support. Senior sources in Rajapakse’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) said that the party is seriously considering the conditions put forward by the two parties.

“We have held two rounds of talks separately with the JVP and JHU and we are confident that an agreement could be arrived at,” the SLFP sources said. Addressing a news conference in Colombo, JVP Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa said yesterday that the party’s Central Committee decided to support Mr. Rajapakse if he agreed to some conditions put forward by the party.

JHU chief Ven Medhananda Thero also expressed hopes of a compromise after the first round of talks. While JHU presented a five-point formula to the SLFP, the JVP submitted a 12 point programme proposal.

The JVP is reported to be divided on the issue. While some leaders want the party to field a candidate, others feel that hey should support Rajapakse to prevent United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s victory. Weerawansa has consistently pushed for a renewal of links with sections of the SLFP including Mr. Rajapakse while other JVP leaders have taken a tough line and want to go it alone.

Weerawansa said JVP front liners Tilvin Silva and Anura Kumara Dissanayake were scheduled to meet Mr. Rajapakse immediately for talks aimed at reaching consensus. “We will not talk to anybody in the SLFP except Mr. Rajapakse,” he said, assuring that the JVP would continue to function as a single party in the future too. He added that the party would field its own candidate if Mr. Rajapakse failed to agree to the conditions.

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