UNP talks to Sobitha Thera on common agenda
BY Kelum Bandara
May 3, 2014

In the wake of speculation about an early presidential election and opposition attempts to field a common candidate, the United National Party (UNP) held talks with Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera on the formulation of a common agenda for such an election, Daily Mirror learns.

The UNP Leadership Council met Ven. Sobitha Thera who has already founded a political movement with the objective of working towards just and fair society.

The meeting which took place last Wednesday discussed the formulation of an agenda acceptable to all opposition political parties. The talks were based on three key aspects such as the abolition of the executive presidency, the reintroduction of the 17th Amendment and the introduction of a new electoral system based on the firstpast-the-post system.

However, there was no discussion on the person to be chosen as the common candidate to be fielded at an upcoming presidential election.

UNP Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya, MPs Ruwan Wijewardene, Ravi Karunanayake, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Mangala Samaraweera, General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, Lakshman Kiriella and Kabir Hashim attended this meeting.

Ven. Sobitha Thera is reported to have informed the UNP members that he would hold talks with other opposition political parties including the Democratic Party (DP) led by former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

However, DP Secretary Gaya Basnayake said his party had not yet received any formal invitation from Ven. Sobhitha Thera.

The UNP, the JVP, the TNA and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) had supported Mr. Fonseka as the common candidate at the 2010 presidential election.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka

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