Nandana quits SLFP, pledges support to Opp prez candidate

1415777715_2702554_hirunews_nandana-gunathilakaAlleging that the government was corrupt, Gunathilake said that he didn’t want to continue with the Rajapaksa regime.

by Dasun Edirisinghe

One-time JVP heavyweight and presidential candidate Nandana Gunathilake yesterday pledged his support for the on-going Opposition campaign to abolish the executive presidency.

Gunathilake made the announcement at a hurriedly arranged media briefing at Solis Hall, Pitakotte, in the morning after having resigned from the post of Chairman of the UPFA-run Panadura Urban Council. Gunathilake said that he had also given up SLFP membership and the post of Kalutara District SLFP organiser.

Gunathilake handed over his official vehicle and laptop computer to the Secretary of the Panadura UC Friday morning.

Responding to a query, one-time JVP presidential candidate, while pledging his support to Opposition candidate, ruled out the possibility of joining the UNP or any other party.

Early this week, the JVP, too, pledged its support to the project at a rally held at Muttiah grounds near Gangaramaya.

“I quit the SLFP due to its dictatorial rule and I want to work for the abolition of the executive presidency,” Gunathilake said, adding that SLFP leader President Mahinda Rajapaksa had been informed of his decision.

Gunathilake claimed that he was ready to pledge his support for the Opposition project though he wasn’t aware of who the common candidate was likely to be.

Gunathilake contested the Presidential Election in Dec. 1999 as the JVP candidate. He obtained 344,173 votes. Gunathilake received the appointment as the UPFA Chairman when the JVP and the PA formed an alliance to contest 2004 general election.

Gunathilake quit the JVP in 2009 before being appointed as the General Secretary of the National Freedom Front (NFF) formed by former JVP heavyweight Wimal Weerawansa. Having functioned as the Minister of Tourism and Post and Telecommunication, Gunathilake resigned from the NFF and obtained SLFP membership in January 2010.

Gunathilake unsuccessfully contested the Kalutara District at the April 2010 General Election on the UPFA ticket. But President Rajapaksa appointed him Chairman of Panadura UC following 2011 Local Government elections.