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“President Wickremesinghe Holds Key Meeting with SLPP’s Basil Rajapaksa to Forge Political Alliance”

President Ranil Wickremesinghe took a significant step towards establishing a broad political coalition by meeting with Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) stalwart Basil Rajapaksa and representatives from various parties and groups. The meeting aimed to expedite political efforts, especially in anticipation of the presidential election post-May Day.

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena represented the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna at the gathering, alongside other notable figures including Ministers Prasanna Ranatunga, Tiran Alles, Harin Fernando, Kanchana Wijesekara, MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage, and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa. Chief of Staff of the President, Sagala Ratnayake, was also present on behalf of the United National Party (UNP).

Following discussions, it was agreed that the SLPP and UNP, under President Wickremesinghe’s leadership, would hold separate May Day rallies but consolidate forces for an alliance comprising like-minded parties ahead of the presidential election. The President is slated to emerge as the common candidate and contest under the symbol of the proposed alliance, rather than the UNP symbol.

UNP Chairman Vajira Abeywardane and Minister Alles have been tasked with coordinating the registration of the new alliance under a mutually acceptable symbol. The campaign launch is anticipated after securing the third tranche of the IMF loan in June.

The formation of the alliance also aims to include political groups led by MPs Wimal Weerawansa, Dulles Alahapperuma, and Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU), as discussed during the meeting. Efforts will be made to engage these parties and groups, including those who have defected from the SLPP, in the alliance-building process.

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