PA aligns with hard-line Sinhala party

[TamilNet, Sunday, 27 August 2000, 11:19 GMT]
The Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) and the Peoples' Alliance (PA) have signed an electoral agreement, to compete the forthcoming general elections together. PA General Secretary D.M.Jayaretna and MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardene signed an agreement in this regard Sunday.

The MEP, or People's United Front, is a hard-line ultra-nationalist Sinhala party, which was in the forefront of the opposition to the government's constitutional reform bill. The alliance has surprised many, given that the MEP was so strongly opposed to the government's proposal.

Mr. Dinesh Gunawardene said he is very glad to join the PA on an invitation extended to him by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. He added his party would work with the PA for the betterment of the country. He also reminded those present that in the 1999 Presidential Election, his party worked for the victory of President Chandrika Kumaratunga.

This announcement is said to have disappointed the Buddhist monks who were said to have planned for the MEP to lead the rightwing Sinhala parties in a united coalition as a third alternative to the PA and the main opposition United National Party.

 

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