Two UNP parliamentarians cross over
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 25 January 2006, 17:00 GMT]
Two senior opposition United National Party (UNP) parliamentarians
have crossed over to the SL Government. Sri Lanka's Opposition Leader
Mr. Ranil Wickremesighe on Monday has told Mr. Erik Solheim, the
visiting Norwegian Peace Envoy, that he will withdraw his support
for peace efforts if Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse tried to
buy UNP members, sources in Colombo said.
The two Parliamentarians who crossed over from UNP are Chief Whip of
the Opposition and Kalutara District MP Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe and
Mr. Keheliya Rambukwella, Kandy District MP.
Mr. Rambukwella was sworn in as the Minister of Planning and
Plan Implementation Wednesday before SL President Mahinda Rajapakse.
Mr. Samarasinghe will be sworn in as a cabinet minister Wednesday
evening. He will become the Minister of Natural Disaster
Management, political sources said.
Ten more Parliamentarians of the UNP have expressed their desire to
join the Government.
Among them is Ratnapura District MP Susanthe Punchinileme, the sources added.
Sources also said that though Mr. G.L Peiris was keen to cross over
to the Government, strong opposition of the JVP has delayed his
The JVP has opposed Mr. G.L. Peiris joining the Government and has
accused that Peiris was a staunch sympathizer of NGOs and a supporter
of separatist politics.