Arjuna Ranatunge resigns from all posts in SLFP

[TamilNet, Monday, 12 April 2004, 14:07 GMT]
Parliamentarian Mr.Arjuna Ranatunge, former captain of the Sri Lanka cricket team when it won the World Cup in the year 1996, Sunday said he has resigned from all posts in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, main constituent of the United People's Freedom Alliance. He has been holding the post of party organizer for Kotte electorate and the leader of the SLFP youth wing. His decision to quit from these posts came as a protest for not getting the sports ministry portfolio in the new UPFA government, political sources said.

Mr.Ranatunge was given the post of Deputy Minister for Rural Development, but he felt the sports ministry was his for the taking, sources said. When he came to know that he was not given sports ministry he walked out of the President's House Saturday evening without taking oaths with other deputy ministers, UPFA sources said,

Mr. Ranatunge Sunday said he would serve the country as an ordinary member of the SLFP without any post in the party.

Mr. Ranatunge was also a member of the dissolved parliament as a member of the People's Alliance (of which the SLFP was the main constituent). He was on the front lines of the Patriotic National Movement (PNM), an alliance of ultra-natiobnalist Sinhala political leaders and extremist Buddhist monks, that campaigned against the United National Front government's peace proposals offered to the Liberation Tigers, and later the LTTE's Interim Self Governing Authority proposals. He was reelected in the recent general elections in the UPFA ticket.

Mr. Ranatunge said the new Sports Minister, Mr. Jeevan Kumaratunge, has obtained fewer preferential votes in the Colombo electoral district than him. "I entered politics to work for the development of sports in the country," Mr.Ranatunge said

 

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