SLFP-JVP alliance office bearers announced

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 17 February 2004, 14:09 GMT]
Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge was appointed President of the United Peoples Freedom Front (UPFA) at the first executive committee meeting of the UPFA held Tuesday at the Presidential secretariat. Presidential advisor Mr Anura Bandaranaike and Opposition Leader Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse were appointed national organizers of the UPFA and Mr.Nandana Gunatilake of the JVP was appointed chairman, the State controlled Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation reported in its evening news bulletin Tuesday.

Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge presided over the ex-co of the UPFA, which was attended by Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse, Mr.Anura Bandaranaike, the general secretary of the Peoples Alliance Mr.D.M.Jayaretna and the general secretary of the SLFP Mr.Maithiripala Sirisena.

On behalf of the JVP Messrs Nandana Gunatilake, Vijitha Heart, Vimal Ratnayake and Sunil Handunetti participated, sources said.

The appointment of national organizers of the UPFA was delayed due to internal rivalry between Mr.Anura Bandaranaike and Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse since January 20 this year. On that date the main constituent of the Peoples' Alliance (PA) and Sinhala nationalist-Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) formed the political alliance UPFA to contest the forthcoming general election, which is scheduled for April 2, sources said.

The first meeting of the executive committee of the UPFA was postponed twice because of the failure to reach a compromise between Mr.Anura Bandaranaike and Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse. President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge as a last resort appointed both Mr.Anura Bandaranaike and Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse as national organizers of the new alliance, sources said.

The President of the National Unity Alliance (NUA) Ms Ferial Ashraff and the leader of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) Mr.Dinesh Gunawardene were appointed as vice presidents of the UPFA.

North Central Province Chief Minister Mr.Berty Premalal Dissanayake has been appointed Treasurer and Mr.Susil Premajayanth Secretary, sources said.


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