SB Dissanayake crosses over to SLFP from UNP

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 December 2009, 08:10 GMT]
S.B. Dissanayake, the national organiser of the main opposition United National Party (UNP) and the Opposition Leader in the Central Province broke ranks with his party and crossed over to the ruling Mahinda Rajapaksa's Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Monday. The move, which has brought the Sinhala politician with highest number of preferential votes in all the 13 electorates of Kandy in the last provincial elections to the side of Mahinda Rajapaksa, is viewed as a major setback to the UNP in the run up to the presidential elections with the common candidate General (retd.) Sarath Fonseka.

Mr. Dissanayake joined the UNP and became a minister in the United National Front (UNF) government in December 2001.

He was the general secretary of the SLFP, a senior minister and a close confidante of the then president Chandrika Kumaratunge during the People Alliance regime till differences of opinion developed between him and Ms. Kumaratunga in 2001.

In 2004, he was indicted for contempt of court by making a statement defaming the Sri Lankan Supreme Court when addressing a meeting at Habaraduwa in the south on 3rd November 2003. He served a two year jail term for the contempt of court charge. He was national organiser of the UNP at that time and also lost his parliamentary seat while he served the jail term. He was released in February 2006.



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