Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

Is Vipakshaye Virodaya cracking up?

- BY YOHAN PERERA

The joint opposition alliance – Vipakshaye Virodaya led by the United National Party (UNP) appears to be cracking up with Nava Sihala Urumaya leader Sarath Manamendra saying he would soon decide whether to remain with the alliance.

I could not field candidates on the UNP ticket but Asath Sally has been given the opportunit­y to do so

His severe criticism of the alliance surprised journalist­s, who were present at yesterday’s Vipakshaye Virodaya news conference in Rajagiriya.

Mr. Manamendra said the Vipakshaye Virodaya lacked a credible stature and would end up making President Mahinda Rajapaksa president for life.

He said the absence of a sound political strategy by the joint opposition group was the real reason behind the crossover to the Government of former parliament­arian Dayasiri Jayasekera.

Mr. Manamendra recalled his suggestion that the parties comprising the Vipaksaye Virodaya should contest the provincial council elections together under the elephant symbol but it was unfortunat­ely turned down.

When journalist­s asked him who had turned down his suggestion he said none of the other parties including the UNP responded. Mr. Manamendra was also critical of the UNP for not giving an opportunit­y for his party to field candidates on the UNP lists at this provincial council election.

“I could not field candidates on the UNP ticket but Asath Sally has been given the opportunit­y to do so,” he said. Mr. Manamendra said considerin­g the attitude of the Vipakshaye Virodaya it appears that the sons and even grandsons of the leaders would have to stagnate in the opposition.

“I will be fifty yeas soon and I would be 70 in 20 years’ time. What will happen to us if the opposition continues in this manner,” he asked.

When asked whether he had any plans to join the government, he said he had no intention of doing so but saw no obstacles in making any political decision.

“I don’t intend to join the government but there is no obstacle preventing me from doing so,” he said.

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