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* Sri Lanka's ruling coalition likely to shatter- report
Sun, May 4, 2014, 10:36 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 04, Colombo: Several popular Sunday Sinhala newspapers published reports which said that dissent is brewing among constituent parties in the ruling coalition and leaders of several coalition partners are likely to shift allegiance in a future election.

The Sunday Lankadeepa newspaper in its lead news directly alluded to nationalist parties Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) and National Freedom Front (NFF) as possible coalition partners who are suspected of shifting allegiance from the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) .

The monk-led JHU voted against the orders of the Strategic Development Project Act which was taken up in the parliament last week while the MPs of breakaway Marxist party led by Minister Wimal Weerawansa abstained from voting. Both parties accuse the government of planning to introduce casino through these development projects.

Meanwhile, Sunday Divaina newspaper reported that several leaders of the government coalition parties are discussing with the major opposition United National Party (UNP) over the political situation of the country.

According to the Divaina report, several ruling party leaders are having discussions with the senior leaders of the UNP and several coalition parties which had disputes recently with the ruling party intend to join the UNP to contest future elections.

A senior UNP member has confirmed to the Divaina that currently some ruling party leaders are holding discussions with the UNP and several others have made appointments to hold discussions in the future.

Government coalition minority political parties, especially Muslim parties are also concerned over the rising Buddhist extremism which they claim the government overlooks, political observers say.

The Muslim parliamentarians recently wrote to the President urging him to take action to curtail the incidents of religious intolerance by the Buddhist extremist groups.

The opposition is seeking support to field a common candidate aiming mainly to abolish the executive presidency and restore democracy.

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