Local election opens fault lines in ruling alliance
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 March 2006, 05:20 GMT]
The ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and its key constituent, Sinhala nationalist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), are engaged in battle of words to assert electoral dominance in the forthcoming local council elections, and this combined with the recent escalation in attacks against JVP members by UPFA supporters portend dangers of creating permanent fissures in the alliance, political sources in Colombo said.
"It is inappropriate for a key constituent of the ruling alliance to engage in a power struggle during local elections. Members who functioned jointly with us are now calling the electorate to hand over power of local councils to them," said Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake, speaking at an election meeting in Kalutara, Monday, sources said.
"Since the mission of the two parties have begun to diverge in the last four months confrontation is inevitable. However, all have to be mindful that people of Sri Lanka has given a comprehensive mandate to President Rajapakse the power to lead the country," Mr Wickremenayake added.
Meanwhile, during an election meeting in Matara-Akuressa area held Sunday, Leader of JVP, Mr Somawanse Amerasinghe said without JVP Mahinda Rajapakse would not have become the President of Sri Lanka. "Several members of the UPFA are intent on creating hurdles to JVP's electoral efforts. Life of the ruling alliance may be cut short if this situation continues," cautioned Mr Amerasinghe.
Mr Gayantha Karunatillake of United National Party (UNP), in a press meet held Monday at the offices of the Opposition Leader said: "the UPFA is already split into three factions. There are clear signs that additional irrecoverable fissures will manifest soon after the local council elections."