UPFA grassroots politicos all out to bring back MR

By Dasun Edirisinghe

UPFA Provincial Councillors and local government members in the Western Province have launched a campaign demanding former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Ministerial Candidate and an immediate end to moves to remove Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga.

Their first meeting was held at the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha Auditorium on Monday with the participation of the majority of UPFA local government heads and members and provincial councillors in the Gampaha District.

Addressing the gathering, Chairman of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha, Prasanna Ranaweera, said they would take to the streets with all local government and provincial council members of the Western Province if Chief Minister Ranatunga was removed by the present government.

"This is a conspiracy of the UNP and President Maithripala Sirisena should understand it," he said, adding that Chief Minister Ranatunga and others attended the pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa rally at Nugegoda after having obtained the approval of the UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha and SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa.

After the meeting, UPFA Gampaha District local government and provincial council members had met SLFP high ranking officials at the party head office on Darley Road..

Ranaweera said. "Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva, SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and SLFP General Secretary Susil Premajayantha assured us that there was no move to remove the Chief Minister."  

The second meeting was held yesterday at the Vijaya Kumaratunga Hall at Wadduwa and it was attended by UPFA local government and provincial council members of the Kalutara District.

Participants unanimously resolved that Prasanna Ranatunga continue as the Western Province Chief Minister and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa be named the UPFA’a prime ministerial candidate.

The next meeting will be held today in Colombo with the participation of UPFA local government and provincial council members of the Colombo District.

In addition two conferences which will be attended by all UPFA local government members and provincial council members countrywide will be held next week in Colombo.

Resolutions demanding former President Rajapaksa to be named as Prime Ministerial Candidate of the UPFA at a future general election are scheduled to be passed at the two conferences.

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