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Leading News from Sri Lanka::

* Sri Lanka Opposition leader clears misconceptions on nomination controversy
Mon, Mar 22, 2010, 10:15 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremasinghe today responding to the media reports that there is a crisis within the party over the Moneragala nomination list issued a special notice saying that there is no truth to those media reports.

The opposition leader said that no instructions had been given to the Deputy leader of the party Karu Jayasooriya or the General Secretary Tissa Attanayake not to conduct the political campaign at the Moneragala District for the up coming general elections, pending the legal advice which has been sought to explore the possibility to declare the fraudulent Moneragala nomination list as void as some media have reported.

Recent media reports said that Wickremasinghe has barred the party seniors from campaigning in Moneragala District and threatened to remove them from their positions in the executive committee of the party.

The UNP leader said it was necessary to clear the picture and laid out the actions the Executive Committee of the UNP has decided to take regarding the fraudulent nomination list for Moneragala District.

In the nomination list submitted for the Moneragala District, the name of the SLFP (M) wing member Tissa Kuttiarachchi has been removed and the signature of the General Secretary has been forged after the change.

The party leadership has accused the former UNP Monaragala District parliamentarian Ranjith Madduma Bandara of altering the list before submission and removed him from his post as the party leader in the Monaragala district.

The party intends to take disciplinary action for forwarding the false nomination list to the Moneragala District Secretary and until the disciplinary action is concluded, Madduma Bandara and Ananda Kumarasiri who are suspected of altering the original list will be stripped of all their official positions in the party.

General Secretary of UNP Tissa Attanayake will lodge a complaint with the CID to probe the fraudulent nomination list, Wickremasinghe said adding that the party leadership be vested with the power to decide on the representation at elections and future representations.

"The party Deputy leader, President, General Secretary and other officials are bound by these decisions and are acting under those instructions. Hence, to say action is being taken against them has no foundation," Wickremasinghe noted.

According to the opposition leader, he and the party General Secretary A recently had discussions with the supporters and all those involved in the disputed nomination list and all have agreed to abide by the decisions made by the Executive Committee to maintain discipline, he said.

Since the nomination list is forged, the party has sought legal advice to explore whether the entire nomination list can be annulled after the elections. After this advice is received, the UNF leaders will take the necessary steps, the opposition leader added.

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