June 07, Colombo: Senior leaders of Sri Lanka's man opposition United National Party (UNP) are discussing a settlement between Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and the rebel leader Hambantota District Parliamentarian Sajith Premadasa in order to form a united front to face an anticipated presidential election, sources close to the party had said.
Sources further have said that a group of UNP seniors are in an effort to materialize a deal between the two leaders who are against each other for many years after a struggle by Premadasa to oust Wickremasinghe from the party leader position, according to a report in Asia Mirror.
According to the settlement being discussed, Premadasa is to be named as the Prime Minister candidate of the UNP, sources said.
The party believes that a presidential candidate should be fielded from a main political party in the country and Wickremasinghe has already announced that he would vie for the party's candidacy for the upcoming Presidential election.
It is expected that with such a move to select Premadasa as Wickremasinghe's running mate and with the leadership of the senior leader Karu Jayasuriya as the Chairman of the party's Leadership Council, the party will be able to strengthen its position and form a formidable front against the ruling party.
However, the Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) which acted the role of king maker in Sri Lanka in some recent elections has already rejected to accept Wickremasinghe as the common candidate of the opposition.