April 8 poll: Big boost for SLFP at the expense of its partners
Original JVP group reduced to five
JHU 2, CWC 3, MEP 2
 All UPF candidates rejected

Of the original 39 JVP members, including those from the National List, elected to the last Parliament, only five survived the General Election 2010. Among them were Wimal Weerawansa, who polled a formidable 280,672 preferential votes in the Colombo district and Weerakumara Dissanayake, elected to the seventh Parliament from Anuradhapura. Dissanayake is the only other successful NFF candidate of 15 who joined the fray. He polled 27,102.

One of the original group did not contest Thursday’s election.

Political sources said that the result was not only disappointing but also embarrassing, though the National Freedom Front (NFF) leader emerged a major winner. NFF media coordinator, Anuruddha Bandara told The Island that they were satisfied with the result. He said that a split in what he called the Marxist vote in the Kalutara District had denied NFF nominee, Jayantha Samaraweera an opportunity to retain his seat. Former JVP heavyweight Nandana Gunatilleke, who entered the fray in Kalutara on the UPFA ticket as an SLFP nominee, had caused this unfortunate situation, he said.

Sunil Handunetti (Colombo), Ajith Kumara (Galle) and Vijitha Herath (Gampaha) were the other successful members of the original JVP parliamentary group. Bandara said that the JVP could not have even managed to retain three, if defeated presidential candidate, Gen. (retd) Sarath Fonseka had not contested along with JVP candidates. The only other successful JVP/DNA candidate was former National cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga.

Bandara said that Weerawansa had beaten two party leaders in Colombo to secure the top spot. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and DNA leader Fonseka were no match for Weerawansa, he said.

Three other JVPers of the original group are expected to enter Parliament through the National List. Anura Kumara Dissanayake, widely believed to be one of the major players in forming the UNP-JVP alliance to contest the presidential election, will be the JVP’s only National List representative. The NFF will appoint Mohammed Musammil and Achala Jagoda as its National List members.

Among the unsuccessful NFF candidates are Piyasiri Wijenayake (Gampaha), Anjan Umma (Gampaha), Wimal Weerawansa’s brother, Sarath (Matara), Dharmasena Kodituwakku (Hambantota), versatile artiste Buddhadasa Vithanaarachchi (Kegalle), Aravinda Vanniarachchi (Matale), Nimal Premawansa (Mahanuwara), Nimal Piyatissa (Nuwara Eliya), Raja Ranjith Gunaratne (Polonnaruwa), Senaratne de Silva (Kurunegala), Samansiri Herath (Puttalam) and Deepal Gunasekera (Ratnapura).

The JHU, which contested the April 2004 election and won nine seats in the last parliament, is now reduced to two. JHU spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe told The Island that of the five JHU candidates, who entered the fray on the government ticket, Ven. Athureliye Rathana thera (Gampaha) and Patali Champika Ranawaka (Colombo) had been successful.

Ven. Ratana and Ranawaka polled 112,010 and 120,333 votes to secure fourth and third places, respectively in the two districts. The JHU fielded three other candidates in Kandy, Kalutara and Kurunegala. Asked whether their candidate in Kandy would stand a chance of being returend , Warnasinghe denied the possibility.

Two JHU members, Ven. Ellewela Medhananda thera and Ven Omalpe Sobitha thera are on the UPFA National List.

The CWC was another loser with only three elected members at the 2010 General Election. CWC President Muttu Sivalingham told The Island that of the nine candidates fielded on the government ticket, only three had been successful. He said that all three successful candidates had contested from Nuwara Eliya. "We secured the three top slots," he said. Their candidates in Badulla, Kandy, Ratnapura and Colombo were not successful. Responding to a query by The Island, he expressed confidence that the CWC could secure three National List slots.

At the previous election, the CWC contested on the UNP ticket and secured eight seats, including two National List slots.

Upcountry People’s Front (UPF) stalwart P. Radhakrishnan, who contested on the UPFA ticket, failed to retain his seat. He said that the UPF had contested on its own in Badulla and Nuwara Eliya but unsuccessfully.

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