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 Post subject: "Anura Bandaranaike dug his own grave"
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:21 am 
"Anura Bandaranaike dug his own grave"

"Maithreepala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa have been working for the sake of the party while others involved in conspiracy" - Minister Maithreepala Sirisena

@ BBC / 11 February, 2007

The three ministers sacked on Friday by the President conspired against the government, a senior minister said.

The General Secretary of the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Maithreepala Sirisena, said sacked ministers have been trying to divide the ruling party.

Ministers Anura Bandaranaike, Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi were sacked by President Rajapaksa a day after Bandaranaike spoke on alleged death threats.

SLFP 'saviours'

Bandaranaike told BBC Sandeshaya immediately after the sacking that no reason were given and he felt 'relieved' for not being a part of 'hellish' government.

Commenting on the announcement at the parliament by Bandaranaike on alleged death threats, Agriculture minister Maithreepala Sirisena said Bandaranaike 'dug his own grave'.

The younger brother of former President Kumaratunga has been working against the government for a long time, he said, and others joined him at a later stage.

Rally with UNP dissidents

"Maithreepala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa have been working for the sake of the party while others involved in conspiracy," Sirisena told a gathering in Polonnaruwa.

Jayasuriya (R) and other UNP dissidents attended the rally in Polonnaruwa

The public meeting was organised by Deputy Land Minister Chandrasiri Sooriyaarachchi to welcome dissidents from the main opposition.

It was the first public meeting addressed by the United National Party (UNP) dissidents, since joining Rajapaksa administration last month.

Former UNP deputy leader, Karu Jayasuriya and ministers Rajitha Senaratne, Naveen Dissanayake and RAD Sirisena also addressed the gathering.


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 Post subject: 'Plot to assassinate' President
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:24 am 
'Plot to assassinate' President

@ BBC / 11 February, 2007

The President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has accused three senior leaders of his party of conspiring to assassinate the Head of State.

Ministers Anura Bandaranaike, Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi were sacked by President Rajapaksa on Friday.

The trio was a part of a conspiracy to topple the government and to assassinate the President, Rajapaksa told Executive Committee of his Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).

During an ExCo meeting on Saturday, braodcast on state television, the President quoted from newspapers and comments sent to online newspaper.

Astrological predictions

"This says I am going to die in April," Rajapaksa said showing cuttings from Mawbima Sinhala weekly and Irahanda astrological newspaper.

Rajapaksa also quoted comments said to sent to Colombo Page online newspaper.

"Today here is a threat to Anura Bandaranaike. Wait. Mahinda and his brothers will be killed within 67 days like ex-President Premadasa," he quoted.

Online comments

President sacked the ministers as police began investiogations into allged death threats to former minister, Anura Bandaranaike.

The conspirators were trying to assassinate him before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year in April, the President alleged.

Irahanda and Subasetha astrological newspaper also published predictions that "it will be very difficult to avoid fatality of a senior leader," Rajapaksa said.

He said it is no secret who runs these newspapers.

Bandaranaike was recently appointed a Senior Vice President and Samaraweera is the Treasurer of the SLFP.

All three are regarded as loyalists of former President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, who was replaced as SLFP leader by President Rajapaksa, last year.

After the hour-long explanation, the ExCo has approved Rajapaksa's decision to expel three ministers.


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 Post subject: Big welcome for Ex-Minister Mangala
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:27 am 
Big welcome for Ex-Minister Mangala

@ DM / Monday, February 12, 2007
By Kelum Bandara


Image

Mangala Samaraweera who was on Friday recently stripped of his ministerial portfolio, was accorded a warm welcome yesterday by his supporters upon his return from Singapore.

A crowd of more than thousand party supporters including heads of certain local government bodies from Matara gathered at the 18th milepost on the Colombo-Negambo highway and proceeded towards the airport shouting slogans condemning President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s decision to sack Mr. Samaraweera.

However police armed with batons and tear gas canisters prevented the crowds from proceeding to the airport to avert possible untoward incidents.

Mr. Samaraweera was mobbed by his supporters upon his arrival on the scene at around 5.30 p.m. with his colleague Sripathy Sooriyarachchi who too was stripped of his portfolios by the President

Speaking to the gathering Mr. Samaraweera expressed his gratitude to them.

A local government member told the Daily Mirror on condition of anonymity that they were ashamed to be part of the government after what it did to Mr. Samaraweera who was instrumental in electing Mr. Rajapaksa to office at the last Presidential Election.

“Today, the entire south is mourning. We are ashamed of ourselves to be a part of this government now,” he said.

A major traffic jam on the Colombo-Negombo Highway was created due to the meeting


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