Many Rajapaksa loyalists face the axe

Prasanna Ranatunga

Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, who has played a major role to nominate former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the UPFA Prime Ministerial candidate, would not get nominations to contest the general election from the Gampaha District, UPFA sources said.

They alleged that former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga had asked President Maithripala Sirisena not to field Prasanna Ranatunga as it would block Arjuna Ranatunga’s chances of entering Parliament from the same district.

Western Provincial Council members Samanmalee Sakalasuriya, Sahan Pradeep, Gunasiri Jayanath, Ananda Harischandra and Meril Perera also would not get nominations from the Gampaha District, sources said.

Western Provincial Council members from the Kalutara District Piyal Nishantha and Lalith Ellawala, Southern Provincial Council member Sampath Atukorala, who played a main role in the bring-back- Rajapaksa campaign would also be denied nominations from the UPFA.

Minister of Lands M. K. D. S. Gunawardena had also opposed giving nominations to 18 former MPs who are loyal to Rajapaksa.

(The Island)

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