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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 101

Ranil fiddles in Nepal whileUNP burns in Sri Lanka

Colombo, 26 January, ( Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is facing the biggest crisis of his party, UNP, about to be split into two by the end of this week, left the island yesterday to hold talks with President of Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), Pashupati Shumsher Rana, and later with the Indian leaders.

Nearly twenty MPs, including the former Deputy Leader, Karu Jayasuriya, are expected to cross over and join the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse. But Ranil has winged his way to Nepal to get a briefing from Pashupati Shumsher Rana, on the new agreement with the Maoist rebels who have given up arms under UN supervision and joined the government.

RPP, the only Nepalese party that is a member of the Asia Pacific Democratic Union, invited Ranil Wickremesinghe who is its current president. The Asia Pacific Democratic Union is a regional wing of International Democratic Union dominated by Western leaders like Tony Blair, John Howard, etc.

Political observers agree that Wickremesinghe has got his priorities wrong. One commentator said: “Ranil is flying to Nepal when his house in Sri Lanka is burning down to ground. When he comes back he will find only some burnt out skeletons hanging around.”

Karu Jayasuriya has been promised a key portfolio for economic development in keeping with his status. Milinda Moragoda, M.H. Mohamed, P. Dayaratne, Mano Wijeyaratne and G.L. Peiris are among those tipped to be appointed into important portfolios. UNP’s Matara district Parliamentarian Mahinda Wijesekara is also tipped to join the government. He has asked for his former Ministry of fishing. But informed sources say that this is not likely to happen because the incumbent Felix Perera is refusing to give up his portfolio.

Ranil is facing the third exodus from his party. The first was when veterans like Stanley Kalpage, Sarath Amunugama left the party and joined Chandrika’s government. Second, was when Mahinda Samarasinghe and Keheliya Rambukwella crossed over. Now he is facing the third and the biggest exodus. No UNP leader has ever faced such desertions. He is now left only with the likes of S. B. Dissanayake –a cross-over from Chandrika’s government who does not even have the right to vote after the Supreme Court deprived him of his civic rights for contempt of court.

- Asian Tribune -

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