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Sri Lanka President Sirisena ditched by allies

ECONOMYNEXT – President Maithripala Sirisena has been abandoned by his key allies who are joining the United National Party (UNP) to contest upcoming parliamentary elections, health minister Rajitha Senaratne said today.

He said it was clear to him that Sirisena had no control over the Sri Lanka Freedom Party or its broader coalition, the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) which had been hijacked by loyalists of former president Rajapaksa.

"He (Sirisena) has no control over the party," Senaratne told reporters. "All the civil society organisations and the leftist parties are no longer supporting him."

Sirisena allies feel let down when he agreed to include his arch rival Mahinda Rajapaksa as a candidate from the UPFA.

Senaratne, who is also the health minister, is contesting the August 17 election as a UNP candidate from the Kalutara district.

The party of Buddhist monks, the JHU has also decided to contest the election as UNP candidates and their joining Ranil Wickremesinghe’s party means it will be difficult for the UPFA to rely on a Sinhala nationalist campaign.

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