Sri Lanka News

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Mangala congratulates Basil on leading Govt. to victory

by Shamindra Ferdinando

Former SLFP heavyweight Mangala Samaraweera, MP, shortly after Monday’s voting on the second reading of the Budget congratulated Basil Rajapaksa on spearheading the ruling coalition’s victory.

Rajapaksa had been visibly surprised when Samaraweera walked up to him and shook hands, saying he hadn’t had time to meet him since he took oaths as a National List MP. The leader of the Mahajana faction had acknowledged that the victory by a 16-vote majority was due to Rajapaksa.

UNP’s Colombo District leader Ravi Karunanayake who had been there had promptly brought it to the notice of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who joined them at that moment. Wickremesinghe is believed to have said something to the effect that the government (read as Rajapaksas) had won this time.

Samaraweera and Sripathy Sooriyaarachchi voted against the Budget. Political sources said that Basil Rajapaksa played a pivotal role in thwarting the much publicised attempts to engineer a mass crossover of ruling coalition members ahead of the budget vote.

Earlier Samaraweera threatened to launch street protests against the JVP if it voted with the government. But the Opposition plan jointly hatched by the UNP leadership and Mahajana Faction depended on their ability to engineer a mass crossover of ruling party MPs.

Speaking to the press subsequently, Basil Rajapaksa expressed the belief that the government could bring the entire country under State control soon. This we could be done with the help of the security forces, a smiling MP said, signalling that ongoing efforts to militarily weaken the LTTE would continue.

Courtesy: The Island

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November 21, 2007 - Posted by | World News

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