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* Sri Lanka opposition leader challenges government to hold a referendum on extending term of parliament
Sun, Feb 3, 2013, 12:33 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 03, Galle: The leader of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) Ranil Wickremasinghe challenged the government to hold a referendum to extend the term of parliament.

Participating in a program to recruit new members to the party in Galle Saturday, the Opposition Leader said the Rajapaksa regime is now reaching the last half of its ruling and by 2014 the regime will totally lose power.

Wickremasinghe, revealing that the government is planning to hold a referendum now to extend the term of the parliament, challenged the government to hold the referendum.

He told the participants that it will be not difficult to explain the reasons to the suppressed people to come forward to defeat the Rajapaksa regime.

UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake at the gathering said the party will take strict actions against senior party leaders who evade the participation in such programs aimed at strengthening the party.

Meanwhile, the organizers of the program said the membership drive was a complete success and they have achieved the targeted number of new members.

The program, launched by the UNP's GreenBlood organization to recruit new members with the participation of Galle Municipal Council member Nuwan Pushpakumara, targeted the Thalahenawatta electorate of Galle.

The head of the GreenBlood organization, Lasantha Gunawardena said about 85 percent of the residents in the area expressed dissatisfaction with the present government.

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