Fernandopulle fourth MP assassinated this year

The vacancy caused by the assassination of Gampaha District MP Jeyaraj Fernandopulle would be filled by Duleep Wijesekere, who polled 48,018 preferential votes at the last general elections in April 2004, political sources said.

Wijesekera is the Highways and Cooperatives Minister of the Western Provincial Council. Wijesekera told The Island although he was next in line he hadn’t thought about entering parliament.

Political sources said Fernandopulle had been the first to be killed in a terrorist attack although four Gampaha District MPs had been replaced in the sixth Parliament. JVP MP Siripala Amarasinghe quit on April 19, 2006 and his vacancy had been replaced by Sarath Kumara Gunaratna, the sources said. Dissident SLFP MP Sripathy Sooriyarachchi’s death due to an accident on February 9 brought Reggie Ranatunga to Parliament. This was followed by the death of Anura Bandaranaike, MP, on May 16. His vacant slot would be filled by Sarana Gunawardena, the sources said.

Among the four parliamentarians assassinated this year were T. Maheswaran, D.M. Dassanayake, K. Sivanesan and Jeyaraj Fernandopulle.

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