President to caution PC candidates on intra-party clashes

By Franklin R. Satyapalan

President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to caution party candidates against getting involved in intra-party clashes in seeking for preferential votes at the forthcoming PC poll and exhort them to work together for the greater victory of the party, during his address at tomorrow’s ceremony to mark the 62nd anniversary of the SLFP at Maligapitiya grounds in Kurunegala, senior party sources said.

Intra-party clashes which broke out between UPFA, especially SLFP candidates, during the start of the campaign early last month had turned into a ‘cold war’, political sources said. The candidates are throwing money and muscle in their tussle for the highest number of preferences. If action is not taken to curb the situation, it could benefit the opposition and thereby jeopardize UPFA’s chances of a convincing victory, the sources warned.

The President has decided to take up this critical issue following increasing reports of intra-party clashes which are an embarrassment to the party and the government, the party sources pointed out.

SLFP General Treasurer, Minister Dulles Alahapperuma is coordinating with Deputy Leader, Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa and National Organizer, Minister Basil Rajapaksa in organizing the 62nd anniversary celebrations of the party in a fitting manner amidst the pre-poll campaign for the September 21 elections to the North Western, Central and the Northern Provincial Councils, the sources said

The latest incident of intra-party violence which were brought to President’s notice was the remanding of Ambalavanar Ramanathan, the father of the chief SLFP organizer for the Jaffna District Angajhan Ramanathan, who is also a candidate, for allegedly opening fire and injuring two persons of the same party at Chavakachcheri last week.

Political sources attributed the increase in the number of incidents of intra- party violence to the considerable number of kith and kin of Ministers and Deputy Minister being granted nomination to contest the forthcoming PC polls, especially in the North-Western and the Central Provinces.

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