By Jamila Najmuddin
The JVP says it is still in talks with the UNP and other opposition political parties on whether it would contest the upcoming General Elections under the swan symbol and is expected to reach a decision by this week.
JVP MP K.D. Lalkantha speaking to Daily Mirror Online said that all political parties who contested as an alliance during the last presidential elections in support of the former army commander were now in the process of discussing which way to go following the latest developments.
“We did not expect the General to be arrested. It is a shame the government has done that. That too, just before the General election,” Mr. Lalkantha said.
He added that the JVP together with all opposition parties were trying to secure the General’s release prior to the upcoming elections in order to contest the polls. “The public want him. He received millions of votes. The government just cannot arrest him and those who supported him. Even journalists who wrote for him are still missing and arrested. We are working on their release too,” Mr. Lalkantha said.
Opposition parties who were in alliance with the General are also discussing whether the ‘New Democratic Front’ name would remain if they decided to contest under the swan symbol. However if such a decision is taken, then the General would remain as the main figure of the party, Mr. Lalkantha said.
“If he is not released before the polls, then it does not matter whether he is in or out. There have been leaders who have been in custody but their parties have contested polls. He will remain as the main figure of the party,” Mr. Lalkantha said.
Media reports which surfaced during the weekend said that the JVP had sent out invitations to other political parties to join them as an alliance. It stated that they had invited the General himself along with Mangala Samaraweera, Rauff Hakeem, Mano Ganeshan, and Arjuna Ranatunga, who crossed over from Government ranks weeks before the poll. (Daily Mirror online)