Nearly thirty told to walk by the people:
People rejected nearly 30 prominent politicians including former
Ministers at the Parliamentary elections held on August 17. Many of the
defeats were shocking.
Rosy Senanayake and Thilanga Sumathipala are prominent among those
who lost their Parliamentary seats from the Colombo District under the
United National Party (UNP) and the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA).
Rosy Senanayake went on record saying that she respects the people's
verdict but vowed to continue her service to the community. "I have no
regrets," she said. She attributed her defat to the fact that she had to
confine the campaign to her electorate.
"A UNP victory and to install a UNP-led government was my priority
and my efforts were to make it a reality. And it did happen. This is
another reason why I was unable to focus on my campaign. My party won
and I am really happy about that," she said.Even though the UPFA and the
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna took decisions to bring in their defeated but
important party members to Parliament, through the National List, the
UNP decided to stick to the people's verdict.
Prominent political figures,former Minister S.B. Dissanayake (UPFA),
Eric Weerawardhana and Abdul Cader from the UNP lost their seats from
the Kandy district.
From the Matale district long standing politicians, Nandimithra
Ekanayake and Rohana Dissanayake lost their seats. From Nuwara Eliya
Renuka Herath and P. Rajathurai District also failed to enter
Parliament. Former Minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe lost his seat from the
Kalutara district. Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Hemal Gunasekara and
Vijaya Dahanayake of the Matara District lost the opportunity to enter
Parliament. From the Gampaha District, Felix Perera, Pandu Bandaranayake,
Upeksha Swarnamali and Sarath Kumara Gunaratne failed to win back their
Vijith Vijayamuni Soysa and Jagath Pushpakumara, both former UPFA MPs
from Moneragala, lost their seats. Meanwhile, Lakshman Seneviratne,
Udith Lokubandara, Chamika Buddhadasa and Rohana Pushpakumara have all
lost from Badulla.Veteran politicians Tissa Karaliyadda and W.B
Ekanayake lost their seats in Anuradhapura. Chandrasiri Suriyaarachchi
and MS Thaufeek , from the UNP lost in Polonnaruwa. Nirupama Rajapaksa
and V.K. Indika lost their seats in Hambantota.Deputy Minister Shantha
Bandara, Jayaratne Herath and Nilwala Wijesinghe , from the UPFA, lost
their seats in Kurunegala. In the Puttlam district, Neomal Perera,
Antony Fernando, Dayasritha Tissera and Milroy Fernando have lost from
Puttalam District. Despite the people's verdict the UPFA National List
The UPFA list includes S.B. Dissanayake, Thilanga Sumathipala,
Mahinda Samarasinghe, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane and Vijith Vijayamuni
Zoysa. The rest of the UPFA National list included Sarath Amunugama,
Malith Jayathilake, Dilan Perera, Angajan Ramanathan, Faizer Musthapa,
A.H.M. Fowzie and M.L.A.M. Hizbullah. Even though Sunil Handunetti lost
his seat, the JVP has him on the National List.
The decisions of the UPFA and the JVP gave rise to vehement
opposition of civil organisations, particularly the National Movement
for Social Justice, opposing the idea of altering the people's verdict.
Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, leader of the National Movement for Social
Justice, went on record yesterday demanding the Government to head for
constitutional changes to avoid such instances. "The only solution is to
enact a new Constitution and amend such shortcomings, " the thera said.
Meanwhile, the possibility of Ministers and Parliamentarians
switching parties according to their whim is barred by the Memorandum of
Understanding signed last Friday by the UNP and the SLFP to avoid
further political hiccups.