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UNF’s Moneragala nominations list altered;
Kuttiarachchi’s name deleted
UNP leaders keep mum for fear of rejection

Former UNP MP and UNP Moneragala District leader Ranjith Madduma Bandara had his bête noire Tissa Kuttiarachchi’s name deleted from the party’s list of nominations handed over to the Moneragala District Secretariat yesterday, according to highly placed sources.

Kuttiarachchi’s name had been deleted with some correction fluid and another name written in its place, sources said adding that UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake’s signature had been forged to certify the unauthorized correction.

UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had reacted angrily to the high-handed act which denied Kuttiarachchi an opportunity to contest the forthcoming parliamentary polls. Sources said that Bandara had strongly opposed the inclusion of the Uva Provincial Councillor Kuttiarachchi in the UNP-led UNF (United National Front) team, but the UNP leadership had overruled his objections.

Kuttiarachchi was able to contest the last election to the Uva Provincial Council on the UNP ticket following representations made by SLFP dissident Mangala Samaraweera on his behalf.

Sources said that the UNP had no option but to go ahead with altered list of nominations as it did not want the list rejected.

The Moneragala controversy has come in the wake of the UNP unceremoniously dropping a Tamil politician nominated by the party to contest from Colombo due to opposition by a UNP front-liner. Sources said that the former MP had raised objections on the basis that the inclusion of a Tamil candidate by the UNP was not necessary as it had accommodated two Tamils nominated by former MP Mano Ganeshan. Sources said that earlier there had been a move to deny nomination to a Muslim candidate fielded by the UNP in Colombo, though the top UNP leadership did not give in to what sources called an unreasonable demand. Sources said that both the Moneragala and Colombo issues had been caused by intra-party tussles over preferential votes.

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