Mahinda says he’s 'sure,' but seeks JVP help if needed

Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, senior vice president of the SLFP, yesterday expressed confidence about doing well in the Hambantota District at the forthcoming election saying that the PA will win four seats in the district against two for the UNP and one for the JVP.

Rajapakse who claimed that the PA will form the next government said that if the need arises, they would get assistance from the JVP.

He expected the PA to do well in the Matara, Hambantota, Moneragala, Badulla and Galle districts.

"We are fielding a good team at Hambantota," he said and predicted that a "progressive left government will be formed next January 1."

The minister who said that several Tamil MPs have joined them also said that several Muslim activists have left the UNP.

Rajapakse said that if the UNP wins, ‘’they would have to appoint a 60-member cabinet and a similar number of deputy ministers."

He called on everybody and specially PA supporters at grassroots level to ensure a peaceful election that they are sure to win.

"Make sure that the election is peaceful so that people can vote for us without fear. We will ensure a free and fair election and give the UNP a better deal than they gave us at election time during their 17-year rule," he said. (FRS)