Today political Analysis – CBK leaves for London

Published : 10:06 am  July 10, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 

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cb2The seniors of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) assured yesterday that Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga would receive nomination to contest the election whereas former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who was said to be blocking Mr. Ranatunga, left the country.

It was speculated that former President Chandrika Kumaratunga was trying to block Mr. Ranatunga. Yet, Mrs. Kumaratunga left the country for the United Kingdom yesterday for what her Media Unit described ‘an important family event arranged a year ago’.
Her Media Unit said she would clarify her position on the current political situation upon her return. The UPFA leader, Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila and Bandula Gunawardane confirmed nomination for Mr. Ranatunga.

It remained unclear over a period, whether Mr. Rajapaksa will get nomination under the UPFA given his political differences with President Maitripala Sirisena.

However, Rajapaksa signed the nomination paper yesterday, as confirmed by the UPFA leaders backing him. He is to contest from the Kurunegala district. The UPFA candidates started signing their nomination papers.
It is learnt that UPFA members Johnston Fernando, Lakshman Wasantha Perera, and Rohitha Abeygunawardane would be nominated as candidates despite rumours about their exclusion.


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Nonetheless, Mr. Ranatunga still fears that some other plans may deny him nomination. He feared that he would be summoned for questioning by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) of the Police during the nomination period, denying him the time to avail himself for signing the nomination paper or related work.

On his behalf, UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha wrote to Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya in this regard. Mr. Deshapriya cracked the whip accordingly. He informed Deputy Inspector General of Police Ravi Waidyalankara, stressing that it was important to make sure that political party candidates, particularly their leaders were not disturbed in the process of tendering nomination to contest the election.

The letter has been addressed to IGP N.K. Ilangakoon and DIG –Elections Gamini Navaratne. Mr. Deshapriya noted that it would be appropriate if such questioning of Mr. Ranatunga were withheld till the closing of nomination on July 13. Or else, he said a convenient time could be appointed with Mr. Ranatunga for recording a statement.


UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha wrote to Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya in this regard


Along with Mr. Premajayantha, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa also informed the Elections Commissioner that they had learnt of attempts to hamstring the nomination work by summoning Mr. Ranatunga for questioning by the FCID.

They stressed in their communication with the Commissioner that Mr. Ranatunga had been selected to lead the party’s Gampaha district list as a candidate, and that his service was absolutely needed to streamline the nomination work. In response, the Commissioner has sought a postponement of such questioning so that the nomination work is not hampered.


 

cb4Once an election is declared, only the secretaries of the political parties have the authority to deal with the Elections Commissioner in the matters concerned


In this way, once an election is declared, only the secretaries of the political parties have the authority to deal with the Elections Commissioner in the matters concerned. 

In this respect, the party leaders have little say. Therefore, as for the UPFA, the pronouncements by former Minister Susil Premajayantha, have to be taken into account as his signature only matters in communicating with the Elections Commissioner.

He has to sign the nomination papers. His authorization cannot be over ridden in any case even by the President being the party leader in terms of the law. It is the same with the other parties intending to contest the August 17 General Elections. It is true that pressure emanated from the inner circles of the President’s confidants not to include Mr. Rajapaksa in the list. But, this pressure was kept at bay, particularly by the intervention of Mr. Premajayantha as the UPFA Secretary and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa being the Secretary of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).


Later, a communiqué under the signature of Mr. Premajayantha was issued, announcing the candidacy for Mr. Rajapaksa.


These two remained adamant that Mr. Rajapaksa should receive nomination to contest the election. Later, a communiqué under the signature of Mr. Premajayantha was issued, announcing the candidacy for Mr. Rajapaksa. Afterwards, it is now learnt that a cabal of members, loyal to the President, gathered at the residence of Mrs. Kumaratunga and held discussions to work out certain political tactics to block nomination to Mr. Rajapaksa.


cb5The campaign, against the nomination of Mr. Rajapaksa, showed signs of gathering momentum.

Civil Society movements, which backed Mr. Sirisena at the January 8 election, lead this campaign. National Movement for Social Justice headed by Ven.

Sobitha Thera exerts pressure on the President not to give him nomination. The representatives of these organizations met with the President after the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, and requested him to revise his decision.

The President did not commit himself for anything, according to sources.


National Movement for Social Justice headed by Ven. Sobitha Thera exerts pressure on the President not to give him nomination.


cb6Colombo-based Tamil civil society activists and some upcountry Tamil parties requested the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to contest in Colombo and the upcountry districts this time.

Tamil Progressive Alliance, the formation of three Tamil parties, made this request in particular. But, the TNA has been unable to entertain this request this time. The party will contest the election only in the districts in the north and the east.


cb7 In the Jaffna district, a tough battle is anticipated for preferential votes among the TNA candidates in the Jaffna district. Only seven seats have to been allocated for the district.

Of them, the TNA, as the dominant party, targets five seats. But, for that, a stiff competition is anticipated due to the inclusion of leading Tamil politicians.

Former MPs Mavai Senathirajah, Suresh Premachandran, M.A. Sumanthiran,  E. Saravanabawan and Dharmalingam Siddharthan are among the leading figures in the fray representing the TNA.


UNP signs nomination papers

Meanwhile, the United National Party (UNP) also started signing nomination papers yesterday. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also placed his signature on the nomination papers. The party will contest all the 22 electoral districts.

 

Some of the UPFA candidates…

Some of the candidates who are contesting the forthcoming general elections from the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) signed their nomination papers  at the Mahaweli Kendraya yesterday.

They are:
Opposition leader Nimal Siripala de Silva who will contest the Badulla District.
Susil Premajayantha, Dinesh Gunawardane, Bandula Gunawardane, Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila, Dhanasiri Amaratunga and Malsha Kumaratunga who will be contesting Colombo.

Gampaha District: Prasanna Ranatunga, Arjuna Ranatunga, Ruwan Ranatunga, and wife of former MP Sarana Gunawardane.
Some of the other candidates are: Duminda Dissanayake (Anuradhapura), S.B. Dissanayake (Kandy), Janaka Bandara Tennakon (Matale), C.B.Ratnayake (Nuwara Eliya), Chamal Rajapaksa (Hambantota), Dullus Allahapperuma (Galle), Piyasena Gamage and Kumara Welgama (Kalutara) and W.D.J. Seneviratne (Ratnapura)

 

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