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* Fonseka rejects UNF deputy leader post
Wed, Feb 24, 2010, 09:27 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 24, Colombo: Sri Lanka's defeated presidential candidate and former military chief General (Retd) Sarath Fonseka has rejected the post of deputy leader of the main opposition coalition, United National Front (UNF), offered to him by the opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe.

Fonseka's decision has been officially conveyed to the party leadership today, UNF coalition member, Mano Ganesan announced.

Former United National Party parliamentarian Sagala Ratnayake addressing a media briefing at the UNP media unit earlier today (24) said, General Fonseka, who was offered the post of deputy leader of the UNF has still not responded to their request.

Fonseka, refusing the offer has submitted nominations to contest the general election under his new coalition formed with the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna.

The UNF which is fielding candidates for 22 Districts at the upcoming parliamentary elections, has still left the post of deputy leader open for General Fonseka until the last minute, the MP said.

Ratnayake said he met Anoma Fonseka, the wife of the detained General Fonseka yesterday night on a special request made to him by the UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe. The discussions revolved around the forthcoming elections and the steps to be taken to get the General released, Ratnayake said.

Mrs. Fonseka, however on Monday invited the UNP to join the DNA and contest the general election under the Trophy symbol. The doors are still open for the UNP to join DNA, she said.

The UNF is to meet this afternoon to discuss the next steps to be taken, Ganesan told media.

The UNF said yesterday that 20 percent of its nomination list is kept open for anyone who wishes to join their alliance.

"The UNP has not abandoned the possibility of all opposition parties progressing on a common front. The doors are always open," the General Secretary of the UNP, Tisas Attanayake said.

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