Mangala To Hold Back: Multiple Parties Exert Pressure

UNP Matara District Parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera is likely to revise his previous decision to join the government, Asian Mirror reliably learns.

Samaraweera, who was scheduled to arrive in Colombo yesterday after a brief visit to Singapore, has prolonged his tour by a few more days. Sources close to Samaraweera added that the Parliamentarian would return to Sri Lanka on Thursday.

Moves to field a UNP-backed common candidate at the forthcoming presidential election have compelled Samaraweera to have second thoughts about his decision. Samaraweera decided to negotiate with the government over a crossover after it was speculated in the media that UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe would be the party’s candidate at the presidential polls.

Speaking to Asian Mirror on Monday morning, a senior UNP Parliamentarian said in no uncertain terms that the main opposition party would proceed with a common candidate.

Samaraweera has agreed to remain in the opposition if the party fields a common candidate for the presidential election.

It was also reported that former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga had strictly advised Samaraweera to remain in the opposition without joining the UPFA. The move to bring the former President back as the presidential candidate of the opposition has surfaced Samaraweera’s threat to join the government.

However, media reports revealed last week that the government had offered two important ministries to Samaraweera who was once an influential Minister of the UPFA Cabinet.     

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