By Kelum Bandara
The JVP has formed a new political front called the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) under the leadership of Gen. Sarath Fonseka and will will contest the upcoming general election with a new trophy symbol.
The new alliance is expected to be backed by SLFP MP Arjuna Ranatunga and SLFP (Mahajana Wing) General Secretary Tiran Alles.
Political sources said the JVP had taken this decision because the UNP had declined to back down from its stand to contest the poll set for April 8, under its elephant symbol. The new alliance has been formed by renaming an existing party since a political party cannot be registered when an election is declared.
After the Presidential Election, the JVP insisted that all parties that supported the candidacy of Gen. Fonseka should stand together under the swan symbol and continue to do politics to defeat the present government. However, the UNP Working Committee which met recently took a unanimous decision to retain its elephant symbol for this election.
Later, the SLMC, the Democratic People’s Front led by MP Mano Ganesan and SLFP (Mahajana Wing) leader Mangala Samaraweera also agreed to contest under the elephant symbol along with the UNP.
However, according to sources, the JVP has still kept space open to go for the poll under the swan symbol if the UNP backtracks from its stand even at this last moment.
“We have kept options open for the UNP. Otherwise, we will form this alternative alliance under the Trophy symbol,” a JVP source said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Alles who commented on the latest political development said it was unfair for them to engage politics for the sake of a political party symbol when Gen. Fonseka was in military custody.
“I am mostly with a person when he or she is in trouble. I got close to Mr. Samaraweera when he was sacked from the Cabinet in 2007. Otherwise, I could have been with the President. I suffered so much during the past three years because I stood by my principles,” he said.
Asked whether he would join the alterative alliance, he did not give a direct reply. However, he said he was even ready to quit politics on his principles.