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Leading News from Sri Lanka::

* Sri Lanka Marxist alliance calls for secret ballot to decide opposition leader
Sun, Apr 18, 2010, 12:16 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 18, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Marxist Democratic National Alliance, former military commander and MP-elect General (Retd.) Sarath Fonseka says their leader is the most suitable person to lead the opposition in the new parliament.

Addressing a media briefing held yesterday, Sarath Manamendra, the leader of the Nawa Hela Urumaya party, a constituent party of the DNA said the party requests a secret ballot to be held among the opposition legislators to select the opposition leader.

"If a ballot was held we are confident of obtaining the post of opposition leader," he said.

At the same press conference, spokesman for DNA, Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the opposition should have a new life and a new national leadership.

"I think that General Sarath Fonseka possesses plenty of qualifications for the job," Dissanayake said.

He said the party is ready to break any traditions if those block the forward journey referring to the fact that the party with the highest number of MPs in the opposition gets the post of opposition leader.

The main opposition United National Party received 47 votes at the April 8 general election while the Marxist alliance received only 6 seats. The Tamil National Alliance secured 12 seats.

Meanwhile, the political future of DNA leader General Fonseka who is under detention pending two military tribunals remains uncertain. He has yet to receive approval from the Defense Ministry to attend the inaugural meeting of the parliament on Thursday.

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