SLFP General Secretary and Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena as Opposition Common candidate
Posted on November 21st, 2014

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Arriving with Former President Chandriak Kumaratunga and MP Rajitha Senaratne at the New Town Hall SLFP General Secretary and Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena declared himself as the common candidate for the upcoming presidential election.

He Began his speech by reciting verses of the Dhamma pada said he will endure media freedom, abolish 13th amendment and will also change the current electoral system. He declared that he will abolish the executive presidency within 100 days. We should develop the economy of estate sector and private employees. We should develop the economy of estate sector as well as the private sector.

Confirmed the rumours created by opposition prior to announcement of the presidential elections, the United National Party (UNP) today decided to support SLFP General Secretary and Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena as the common candidate for the upcoming presidential election.

According to UNP Assistant General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam the members of the UNP’s G-20, which was set up to take decisions on the presidential election, made this decision when they met this morning.

He said this decision would be confirmed at the party’s Working Committee meeting this evening.

58 Responses to “SLFP General Secretary and Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena as Opposition Common candidate”

  1. Vimutti Says:

    Maithripala is going to have to explain why weakening the power of the president is going to help fend off the US, UK, and Norway from meddling into Sri Lanka’s internal affairs, or why he supports the meddling into the internal affairs of Sri Lanka by these countries. The fact that Maithripala is focused on the same issue of reducing presidential power as the USA Ambassador to Sri Lanka cannot go unnoticed, as she and her staff had been searching hard for someone within the Sri Lankan government to implement the USA agenda in Sri Lanka before she left her post last summer. She felt as long as Rajapaksa had strong presidential powers, it was difficult for the US to control Sri Lanka like they do in so many of their client-states around the world.

    In fact, you could say that Maithripala is the “USA DREAM CANDIDATE” who fronts as a weakened president with the abolishment of the 18th Amendment while Ranil of the UNP runs the show as prime minister, just like before when Chandrika was president and the US CIA was able to get Ranil to approve of rendition and torture of US terror suspects without Chandrika’s knowledge, and get Ranil to send Norwegian funded radio transmitters to the LTTE Tamil Terrorists, again, without Chandrika’s approval.

    Maithripala will also have a lot of explaining to do concerning a July 28th, 2014 statement he made to the Daily Mirror that “I HOPE ALL WOMEN ARE REBORN AS MEN IN THEIR NEXT INCARNATION”, as this is plainly sexist and offensive to most women voters.

    Maithripala’s sexist point of view is also grossly ignorant for a Buddhist who has presumably read the Soma Sutta in the Samyutta Nikaya where bhikkhuni Ven. Soma chastises Mara (the Evil One) for making a similar sexist remark concerning the capacity of women to attain spiritual liberation. In this sutta, Ven. Soma says:

    ‘What difference does being a woman make
    When the mind is well-composed,
    When knowledge is proceeding on,
    When one rightly sees into Dhamma?”

  2. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    I totally agree with you Vimutti. OMG. He may have been the secretary of SLFP for a long time, that does not mean, at all, he is a capable man who can withstand foreign pressure and subversive Tamil diaspora. Sri Lanka will be in a great trouble if we elect an extremely weak personality like Sirisena. That will be the end of our independence from foreign manipulations and in no time country will be fragmented the way US and UK wants. What else can we expect from a former Grama Sevaka? I think this is a blessing in disguise for Mahinda Rajapakse. He will win the election hands down.

  3. SA Kumar Says:

    Jeyaweva !

    MR’s 3rd Team chance is confirmed now !

    Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena – Poor minister will regret soon, hope He can get back his old job Grama Sevaka after election.

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    I NEVER thought he would actually leave.

    An HONORABLE and DOWN TO EARTH man, UNFORTUNATELY. If he is corrupt and a thug we would have many ammunition to discredit him. But this man is a cleaner one. He had WEPT UNCONTROLLABLY before leaving his beloved SLFP.

    He also represents OPPRSSED SINHALA “border villagers and CKDu affected people TOTALY NEGLECTED.

    Others who crossed over include Rajiva Wijesinghe, Duminda Dissanayake, DS Gunawardena, Wasantha Senanayake, Rajitha Senaratna.

    So far 7 UPFA MPS have defected. Now the govt, seats are at 150. Rumors have it some more are going to leave.

    We knew this will happen when the govt. neglected Sinhalese and started showering all benefits to Tamils forgetting even “border” villagers. he has promised to abolish 13 amendment. FANTASTIC.

    At least now act MR. You can save your party in the 11th hour.

    SCRAP 13 amendment NOW. Even the defected people will support you. OR become history.

  5. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    Lorenzo
    I don’t believe Sirisena can ever abolish 13th Amendment without UNP and TNA support. If UNP is going to support it, it’s going to be major policy change. Not only that, His main international sponsors will never let him scrap 13th Amendment. Without EP even he will not be able to stop land and police power given to North and East.

  6. Lorenzo Says:

    Neela,

    Yes. That is a concern. And CBK will NOT allow him to do so!

    But at least he is TRYING. This is why MR must BEAT them all by scrapping 13 amendment now. Then all of them become INVALID COINS.

    I think Wimal Weerawansa should STOP making threats and brave talk now. He is actually ruining the reputation of the govt. by making these threats. Let the people decide who wins.

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    Janaka Bandara Tennakoon is also said to have crossed.

    Now it is 149 seats. UPFA has lost its 2/3. (going by the budget voting of 157.)

    The ONLY thing UPFA did with its 2/3 was to pass 18 amendment. VERY SAD! What a waste of a HISTORICAL mandate.

  8. Vimutti Says:

    Well, one thing is for sure – the 13th Amendment will NOT be scrapped if Maithripala is elected president and Ranil is appointed as prime minister as promised by Maithripala. In fact, you can look for Ranil to push the so-called “political solution” of his USA masters that seeks to divide Sri Lanka into small parts.

  9. SA Kumar Says:

    “political solution” of his USA masters that seeks to divide Sri Lanka into small parts- So naalai pirakkum TE !

    1) MR’S will win 3rd team
    2) losted 2/3 so 13A will be for ever – so we Tamil can have TE day dream forever.

    If Maithripala Sirisena (soft person) become PR than VP (aavi) will come back from his graveyard that is unavoidable.
    Hope that will never happen so Tamil will vote for MR (even though We openly against MR but We don’t forget he had liberated 297,000 from V&P co & blood in his hand as Prince Aruchunan)

  10. Christie Says:

    We are back to 1951 and India, Indians, Indian colonial parasites and vermin have managed to do it again. They have the power and the wealth to do that. Sinhala voters have been divided and with the Indian votes Sirisena might have a chance. But today it is not the same environment. Chandrika is the person doing all these like Parabakaran a a puppet of India. India will never give up until it get rid of Mahinda.

  11. Lorenzo Says:

    Mahinda didn’t do it either. He had 2/3 and 10 years to do so. Now TNA is running the north and SLMC runs the east.

    At least Maithripala has promised to do so. Not even a promise from MR. He promised Monkey Boon to fully implement 13 amendment! Ranil will be only PM and PM has no power to do any political solutions.

  12. Lorenzo Says:

    Presidential election on January 8. BAD decision.

    1. That is SWRD Bandaranayaka’s birthday. Chandrika group will go to town with it.

    2. That is too close to the death anniversary of Lasantha Wickramathunga. Once again the UNP will go to town with it.

    Very bad for the government.

    Maithripala Sirisena was born on the day the SLFP was born! 03 September 1951.

  13. Vimutti Says:

    You are missing the major power shift from the president to the prime minister as promised by Maithripala with the abolishment of the 18th Amendment. The proposed 19th Amendment that Maithripala and Ranil support, essentially strengthens the prime minister and weakens the president. So we are back to the arrangement in 2001 in which Chandrika was fronting a a very weak president and Ranil was undermining her in the background as prime minister.

  14. Hiranthe Says:

    Ratnasiri and some more Chandrika’s favourites will cross over too.

    It will be a disaster if Maitreepala wins. He is honest but weak. He could not clean the Health Ministry so how can we expect him to protect the country…

    Plan B should be a Military take over as Lorenso told the other day.. if he wins.

    If MR or GR reads Lanka web… they should scrap 13A not to negate the main slogan of MS.

    What Patali will do is interesting to see. I don’t think he is so childish to run with MS

  15. Hiranthe Says:

    correction…

    “If MR or GR reads Lanka web… they should scrap 13A now.. to negate the main slogan of MS”.

  16. mario_perera Says:

    This novel situation reminds me of C.P.de Silva’s cross over that left the Sirima regime in a quandary leading to its defeat.

    What the opposition could never have dreamed of doing by nominating and supporting an OPPOSITION stalwart as common candidate, they have now done by nominating and supporting a GOVERNMENT stalwart as common candidate, and that is kindle a spark of hope of toppling the seemingly invincible MR.

    It is difficult to prophesy the ultimate outcome but for certain MR is in for a fight.

    The negatives of the new scenario are:
    1. The re-entry of CBK into the political arena, although the Bandaranayake charisma can in no way be discounted

    2. The proposed nomination of Run-Nil as PM. His massive pro LTTE pacts will surely surface as election fever heats up

    3. The fear that the upper hand the government has over the LTTE-TNA residual forces, the diaspora, India, the white power blocks and their international agencies be undermined by re-alignment with those very same forces.

    The positives of the new move as I see it are:
    .
    1. The emergence of one of the ‘ancients’ of the SLFP (47 years a SLFPer) as the new knight in the shining armour, and his nostalgic appeal for a new era of respectability and decency, qualities that have vanished from every horizon of MR governance.

    2. the image of the common candidate as a ‘decent and respectable’ individual as opposed to the image of MR as a steamrolling thug

    2. The general disgust with the uncontrollably rampant corruption and lawlessness,the immoral tsunami that has engulfed the country

    3. The monotony of a stale system of government (the image of a cow chewing the cud…) and the desire for renewal, in short the desire for new wine in new wine-skins.

    All in all the hope of a MR walk-over is now in serious doubt.

    Mario Perera
    kadawata

  17. Sooriarachi Says:

    Even though this Government has many short comings such as the inability to resettle the Sinhalese who were evicted from the North by LTTE terrorist, this Government has brought peace to the country and taken the nation in a course aimed at developing its economy. Mahinda Rajapakse is a rare leader for a country to have, as he is patriotic, knows the needs of the common man and strong willed to not get pushed by anti Sri Lankan elements. We do not know whether Maithripala Sirisens has such strong attributes, which Sri Lanka needs at this historic moment, when the Separatist diaspora is not only hyper active, but is able to use their wealth and their ability to lie, in order to destroy Sri Lanka’s image and independence.
    As such people should retain the current President who has a proven track record and not gamble on a new leader who may capitulate to enemy demands, especially in association with the likes of Chandrika and Ranil.

  18. Hiranthe Says:

    Could it be a planned move between MR and MS..? MS comes up with proposing to scrap 13A and in return MR has to offer something similar to voters and end up scrapping the 13A on MS’s account??

    If it happens, the country is the winner. MR will win anyway. MS will later join MR as the Prime Minister…

    If it is a dream, I don’t wanna wake up…..

  19. Marco Says:

    Mario
    You have highlighted an uncanny parallel between CP & Sirisena
    Both hail from Polannaruwa and are highly respected in Polonnaruwa.
    Both cut their teeth in the Agricultural sector.
    Both cherished freedom of thought and expression.
    CP crossed over on the issue of Press Take Over Bill, Siresena on abuse of power.

    In two weeks it would be exactly 50 years when CP crossed over from Mrs B Govt

  20. Senevirath Says:

    13අ අහෝසිකර පළාත් සභා විසිරුවා හැර ජනාධිපති චන්දය කල්දමනවා හැර මහින්දට වෙන කළහැකි දෙයක් නැත.

  21. mario_perera Says:

    13අ අහෝසිකර පළාත් සභා විසිරුවා හැර ජනාධිපති චන්දය කල්දමනවා හැර මහින්දට වෙන කළහැකි දෙයක් නැත. – Senevirath

    This is wisdom

    Abolish 13A

    Put an end to the Provincial Council system

    Postpone elections and do the remaining two year stint rectifying the glaringly immoral style of governance

    මහින්දට වෙන කළහැකි දෙයක් නැත

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  22. Senevirath Says:

    වහාම 13අ අහෝසිකර පළාත් සභා ත් අහෝසිකරන්න මහින්ද. එවිට ඔබේ සියලු සතුරු බල වේග ද එසමහම අහෝසිවේ අපේ වින්නහියද අවසන් වේ ප්‍රමාද නොවන්න මේ ඔබට කාලයය් . දෙවන වරටත් මේ ලියන්නේ කාගේත් හොන්දටය්

  23. SA Kumar Says:

    If it is a dream, I don’t wanna wake up….. good idea – 13A is untouchable – last chance 2/3 majority also lost now for another 100 years .

    I NEVER thought Maithripala Sirisena would actually leave !
    Lorenzo & MR did not know until today – sham… what sort of intelligent service you all have, where is our Poddu Amman?? are n’t you not using him properly?

    Let me go back to my day dream – nampungnhal , Naalai pirrakum TE.

  24. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    When it comes to village grass root level, I think, people will not vote for Sirisena, a man who has no leadership qualities to handover the responsibilities of moving the country forward.

    What he said in the news conference is that he will abolish EP as soon as he wins and hand over power to Ranil and make him prime minister. So Ranil will run the country with his UNP policies. Otherwise for another 15 years or if not for ever, Ranil will not have a chance to lead the country.

    Don’t you see a disaster looming over the horizon? A western backed plot to overthrow the government is distinctively hatched with the help of the egocentric politicians of both sides of the parliament bypassing the legal and democratic process.

  25. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    SENEVIRATH !! WHAT YOU ARE SAYING IS A PERFECT STRATEGY FOR MR. IF HE POSTPONES THE ELECTIONS, ALL THOSE WHO RESIGNED THEIR POSTS WILL HAVE TO EAT HUMBLE PIE. THEY WILL BE IN SHIT STREET. WAITING FOR ANOTHER TWO YEARS WILL BE FRUSTRATING FOR THEM. I WILL SEND AND EMAIL TO MR ON YOUR SUGESSTION.

  26. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    President Mahinda Rajapaksa today sacked Ministers Maithripala Sirisena, Rajitha Senaratne, Duminda Dissanayake and Deputy Minister M.K.D.S. Gunawardane from their portfolios and cancelled their SLFP membership. – See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/57117/maithripala-and-others-sacked
    The Kurunegala district member of parliament Nilwala Wijesinghe is likely to leave politics.The reason is he has been owing to a conflict that has arisen on the organizer position of the Polgahawela seat.

  27. Leela Says:

    I am sad MR didn’t make use of the 2/3 majority we gave him to do the any good (abolish 13A or any other) for the country.

  28. Marco Says:

    With all due respect, it is laughable to suggest that the elections should be postponed.
    The proclamation has been signed and announced by MR. It’s now in the hands of the Election Commissioner.

    Of course he can withdraw it abusing sorry i meant using his Executive Powers. He will do more damage to his campaign than ever.

    Interestingly I note for the first time 4 Sri Lankan Political families campaigning on the same platform.
    Senanayake (Wasantha), Bandaranayake/Kumaratunge, Jayawardne/Wickramasinghe & Premadasa

  29. mario_perera Says:

    Yes as Marco rightly points out it is difficult to imagine a postponement of the elections.

    However I recall at this moment J.R.s tactic of having resort to a referendum to keep is gigantic majority in parliament.

    Any postponement of the elections using such presidential powers would normally boomerang negatively on MR.He has nevertheless a redeeming feature on his side, and that is the two years left to terminate his presidential mandate. Two years is a very long time providing him with ample opportunities to win the favour of the voters with all possible types of grants.The ordinary voter is not concerned about legal or constitutional niceties.

    Another obstacle in the way of MR is an increase in the cross-overs which risk to overturn his balance in parliament. Should the apparent trend continue he will be forced to go for a parliamentary election before the presidential one, which will be clearly detrimental to him.

    So the most obvious move is to hold the presidential election as scheduled. He will no doubt use the governmental machinery at his disposal by hook or by crook. The slogan will no doubt be:the end justifies the means.

    As our distinguished commentator Leela once suggested, it is because of such illegal power play wielding possibilities afforded to him by the Provincial council system which brings criminals into the framework of government that he has maintained the 13A in operation and not abolished it. Such criminals have their roles cut out which is to ensure his re-election with all the illegal and immoral means at their disposal. Should they fail it is not only the MR’s head they would be sacrificing but their own as well. They are perfectly aware of this impending doom, the blade of the guillotine hovering over their own heads.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  30. Nimal Says:

    We viewed MS speech, he starting with a gatha makes him another joker and a scoundrel. Religion has nothing to do with politics and we are getting ever closer to foreign interference and eventual division of the island.None of the admirations have solved the nagging problems of the country, except looking after their selfish interests. Let them bring their loot abroad and we will see what we can do.
    I am concerned as a heavy taxpayer and an employer, will be overburdened with the national debt created by borrowing on useless ventures while some made commissions and kickbacks.
    I think this guy was in river sand business while severe restrictions were imposed on the poor traditionally making money or making a living extracting sand from the rivers,resulting in the Majhavali dangerously silting thus obstructing the natural flow of the rivers that may lead to severe flooding. One could see the mahavali is severely blocked at Pardaniya,threatning that town.Our politicians have no compassion and they will do anything to strangle livelihoods of the poor, perhaps unknowingly. I had to buy my sand from Mahiangana while poor in Kandy were not allowed to harvest the sand,traditionally done at Gattambe in Kandy. By the way those people were one time supporters of the governing party.

  31. Marco Says:

    Mario
    I am a little puzzled when you say
    “He has nevertheless a redeeming feature on his side, and that is the two years left to terminate his presidential mandate.”
    On the 8 Jan if he loses the election he relinquishes the Presidency role when the President elect takes the oath.
    There is no question of MR serving out the balance of his 2 years.

    Of course many have commented in various forums that “interested parties” may instigate “violence” or “disruptions” running up to the elections and MR may request/instruct the Election Commissioner to postpone the elections on the pretext of not conducive to have elections. End justifies the means!

    I doubt MR will be that foolish to go down that road with the imminent arrival of the Pope and March 2015 Geneva Conference.
    He cannot be allowed to play with peoples lives and livelihood.

  32. SenaD Says:

    He has agreed to abolish the 13th and 18th amendments, EP and then give the premiership to Ranil Wickramasinghe to become either a ceremonial president or go back to be an MP.

    For that the changes have to be passed by the parliament with more than 2/3rd of the total number of MPs. That is anything but a foregone conclusion, rather closer to being very unlikely, unless at least 30 defect from current government.

    On the other hand he could change his mind after having been elected like what happened to the UNP once with the CMC elections.

  33. Lorenzo Says:

    I think many more SLFPers will DEFECT because they have no future in the party.

    ALL politicians dream of becoming president or if no president, PM one day.

    Can they EVER become that? NO.

    Because MR will stay in power until 2020. Then BR will be president until 2032. And all of them will be dead by then. Then Namal will be president until 2050+.

    Vimutti,

    There will be NO executive PM. The PM is answerable to parliament.

    I don’t think the election can be postponed now. It has been declared.

  34. Ananda-USA Says:

    Dilrook,

    You defended and espoused the actions of the JHU that precipitated the defection of Maitripala Sirisena and other SLFP stalwarts, while I PLEADED with all my might not to UNDERMINE and DEMOLISH the governing PATRIOTIC ALLIANCE because we cannot control the destruction that might ensue.

    The situation has now grown out of control from a “Limited Protest Vote” by the JHU to “discipline” the President as, I think, you had hoped for, to a DISINTEGRATION of the ENTIRE PATRIOTIC ALLIANCE that won the war and rapidly developed the nation in the last 5 years.

    Now the Nation is teetering like a ripe mango on the edge of falling into the hands of its Western and Minorities backed ENEMIES, led by the UNP and the TNA.

    This is not what you had intended, it it? I think your WORST FEARS are now being realized as I had warned in vain!

    I hope that as you say “Celebrations in the Maithripala Sirisena camp will be short lived as the UNP plans to double-cross the kingmakers and their strategists” and that these treacherous DEFECTORS will have NEITHER the “Allapu Aththa” NOR the “Payagahapu Aththa” in the NEAR FUTURE! A POX on ALL THEIR HOUSES, I say!

    The President will still prevail in the Presidential election, but no longer by a landslide, and the People of Sri Lanka will PAY THE PRICE of this TREACHERY by their leaders in a progressively weakening government unable to defend and grow the nation at full speed.

  35. Ananda-USA Says:

    BTW,

    Maitripala Sirisena lurked in the grass like a snake until the Presidential election was gazetted. The die is now cast!

  36. Ananda-USA Says:

    YES! Whatever the outcome of the Presidential Election, the President and the Nation stands to gain by REPEALING the 13th Amendment, and DISSOLVING the Provincial Councils NOW!

    MUCH of the criticism of MR by his own allies will vanish overnight, leaving the rats who deserted the ship stranded in the sea, and MR can enjoy the show as they dog-paddle back to the UPFA!

    The only DOWNSIDE to MR is that many of his stalwarts occupying Provincial Council jobs will lose them too. But, they will lose those jobs anyway if the Opposition prevails.

    Therefore, the President should SEIZE this OPPORTUNITY to REPEAL the 13th Amendment, DISSOLVE the Provincial Councils, and introduce a new System of Administration based on DISTRICTS governed by government appointed Government Agents.

    DO IT FAST, DO IT NOW!

    CARPE’ DIEM .. I say!

  37. Lorenzo Says:

    Crossovers and potential crossovers.

    Already crossed over
    Patali Ranawaka
    Maithripala Sirisea
    Ratana Thera
    Janaka Bandara Tennakoon,
    Rajitha Senaratne,
    M.K.D.S. Gunawardhana,
    Rajiv Wijesinghe,
    Wasantha Senanayaka

    The current UPFA seats based on those voted for the budget 149

    Potential crossovers

    Salinda Dissanayake,
    Siripala Gamlath,
    Duminda Dissanayake,
    S.B. Nawinna,
    Nilwala Wijesinghe,
    Neranjan Wickremasinghe,
    Sumedha Jayasena,
    Jagath Rohana Pushpakumara,
    Navin Dissanayake,
    T.B. Ratnayake,
    Vidura Wickremanayake
    Ratnasiri Wickremanayake,
    Dr. Ramesh Pathirana,
    Gunaratne Weerakoon,
    Sarath Kumara Gunaratne,
    Reginald Cooray,
    Sunny Rohana,
    Risath Bathurdeen,
    Faizal Cassim (Ampara),
    M.H.M. Haris,
    Hassan Ali,
    M.M.M. Aslam,
    Rauff Hakeem,
    C.B. Ratnayake,
    Tikiri Kobbekaduwa
    Achala Jagoda

    If they crossover the number of UPFA seats will be 122. Less than Premathasa had.

    A further 10 crossovers will TOPPLE the govt before the presidential election.

  38. Ananda-USA Says:

    Maithripala Sirisena promising to REPEAL the 13A is EASY but IMPOSSIBLE to ddo because he has to rely on the UNP and even the TNA.

    If ANYONE who believes Maithripala Sirisena can deliver on that promise, please let me knoe because I have a Suspension Bridge that I would like to sell him … GOING DIRT CHEAP!

  39. Vimutti Says:

    Lorenzo – you need to READ Article 44(1) of the proposed 19th Amendment by JHU that Ranil and Maithripala have endorsed. It is CLEARLY calling for an Executive Prime Minister appointed by the president (not parliament) who is the “head of government” AND “head of the Cabinet of Ministers”. This article further provides that the president of Sri Lanka cannot engage in any executive action without the approval of the Prime Minister.

    This is actually worse than the arrangement before when Ranil was Prime Minister in 2001-2004 and undermining Chandrika as president, as he would have more executive authority with the 19th Amendment than he had when he was clearly acting as the head of government during the Chandrika presidential period.

  40. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena former Grama Sevaka was jailed after the 1971 JVP Insurrection. Daham Tharaka, the son of Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena brandished a gun and threatened UNP Municipal Council member Kris Balathazaar following the annual Royal Thomian cricket match in Mar 2014. Daham Tharaka was also involved in a major ruckus last year where he had assaulted the son of DIG Ravi Waidyalankara who was hospitalised.

    Dudley Sirisena denies minister brother helped him

    Q:You are a brother of a Minister who faces lot of allegations. What do you think about that?
    A: I can swear upon name of my son is a trainee pilot, that I have no connection to them.

    Q: OK. Let us start from there. Are you a businessman?
    A: Yes. Now I am a businessman.

    Q:How did you start?
    A: I began with an investment of Rs. 75,000, which was borrowed from two of my friends.

    Q: After that?
    A: I met Minister Gamini Dissanayake and started business with his blessings.

    Q: Although Gamini Dissanayake gave you contracts, your brother, Minister Maithripala Sirisena does not give contracts to UNPers.
    A: I can assure you that of the 24 Districts of the island, Polonnaruwa is one where the businessmen have full freedom.

    Q:But you did not answer my question.
    A: No. My brother never discriminates. He looks for qualifications only.

    Q:Are you sure?
    A: Yes. In Polonnaruwa, there are no SLFPers working on contracts. Almost all the contractors are UNPers.

    Q:They may have joined the ruling party now.
    A: May be.

    Q:Alright. Now let us focus to the Araliya Hotel which is alleged to be detrimental to the Parakrama Samudraya reservoir. We have heard that you bought it at a low price.
    A: In 1998, I bought the hotel at a People’s Bank auction, but not for a lower price as you say.

    Q:How much was it?
    A: Rs. 2.5 million.

    Q:Isn’t that amount cheap?
    A: I bought a hotel which had been closed for 13 years and not the present hotel.

    Q:Does the price go down like that when a hotel is closed for 13 years?
    A: Actually, I did not know that there was a hotel at that place. We visited the hotel in the next land. This land was a shrub. The floor of the hotel was covered with multi layers of bat droppings. Investors were not ready to spend so much money for the ventures like this since tourism was down due to war.

    Q:Do you mean that you were fooled?
    A: Actually I might not have bought this if I had knowledge about this business.

    Q:How did you find the money?
    A: I had saved it with difficultly through contracts. Then we had started the rice trade also.

    Q:Was your brother a Minister then?
    A: I was in business when my brother went to parliament in 1989. Therefore, I had no influence of his politics.

    Q:Then you were the only businessman in Polonnaruwa who was rich enough to buy Hotel Araliya which was publicly auctioned.
    A: Even today, only Minister Siripala Gamlath and I own hotels in Polonnaruwa. All the other hotels belong to outsiders.

    Q:Did such outsiders come to purchase Araliya Hotel?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Your brother’s cohorts stopped them at Habarana.
    A: They accuse me of preventing others who wanted to buy the hotel and also paddy buyers coming to Polonnaruwa. Can I do such things? Is there no rule of law in this country?

    Q:That is why we ask?
    A: Is this a country then? The other individuals of my level have a couple of backup vehicles when they travel but I am not like that because I am a humble man

    Q:Give me a direct answer? Didn’t you stop the buyers that came to buy the hotel?
    A: No.

    Q:If somebody proves it?
    A: I will transfer the hotel to the person who proves that charge?

    Q:You might have not gone but your cohorts did.
    A: No.

    Q:It is said that Minister Gamini Lokuge, who was then in UNP, was also chased like that.
    A: His men too were present at the auction.

    Q:Why couldn’t they buy?
    A: They did not bid. We all had lunch together after the auction.

    Q:It is alleged that you threatened them against bidding.
    A: If I did so, the UNP government which came to power after that could have probed it. Gamini Lokuge was the Minister of Tourism of that government. He had powers to act.

    Q:Did you strike a deal?
    A: No. Those who accuse me about the way I purchased the hotel have not studied to see if there was any tourism here. People think that I purchased the present hotel for Rs. 2.5 million.

    Q:Actually, there was furniture worth that much in the hotel then.
    A: If somebody proves that the furniture available in the hotel was usable, I will transfer the hotel to that person also. The hotel had been closed for 13 years.

    Q:Do you mean the allegations leveled by the people in Polonnaruwa are wrong?
    A: The reason is our success. People throw stones at the trees that have fruits. The other reason is my brother is a Minister. Actually, I am the person who has helped the people of Polonnaruwa mostly.

    Q:Why do the government politicians accuse you?
    A: Even the wife is angry and incommunicado for a couple of days sometimes. These allegations are like that.

    Q:MP Roshan Ranasinghe tries to overtake your brother. Are conflicts like that domestic issues as you say?
    A: You ask MP Roshan Ranasinghe. I ushered him to politics.

    Q:You mean you are the strongman, not Minister Maithripala Sirisena?
    A: They are his instructions.

    Q:But now there are forces against him.
    A: We helped our people and did not bring in our family members. Nobody in our family is in politics sans Minister Maithripala Sirisena. Nobody has idea to come to politics although we have 12 siblings.

    Q:Was your brother’s politics the reason for the family’s success?
    A: I am the biggest businessman in our family. Show me one thing he did for me through politics?

    Q:Does Dudley Sirisena love the environment?
    A: I love the environment immensely.

    Q:What have you done?
    A: Many have not done what I have done. I have grown hundreds of Kumbuk trees. I have removed the buildings that affect the environment. The people of Polonnaruwa know these.

    Q:Does Hotel Araliya affect the Prakrama Samudraya?
    A: No. It is a lie.

    Q:But it is true and you have to admit it.
    A: Mention this please. This land belongs to the Tourist Board. There are two other hotels and one has a swimming pool adjacent to the tank. You have to probe them also.

    Q:Alright. If you have not caused any damage to the tank, you can sue the persons who accuse you.
    A: If they prove I have done any damage to the tank, I will do anything they ask.

    Q:How do these allegations originate?
    A:The only reason is because I am Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s brother. Nobody speaks about the swimming pool in the tank. A rest house has been built on the water outlet of the tank. Nobody speaks about them. Both those constructions belong to the owners of Galle Face Hotel.

    Q:Why is your brother ignoring this despite being the District leader of Polonnaruwa?
    A: Public officials must do their duty and the politicians are not answerable to them.

    Q:Is it good to interfere in other affairs of the public officials?
    A: My brother is not a person like that.

    Q:What do you say about the allegation that you do not allow filling of the tank since your hotel is inundated?
    A: It is true that clashing with media is not wise. But those who have wealth and power do not let these pass. I am not like that. Come and see.

    Q:Then why did you plan to dredge the tank six inches near the water outlet?
    A: The peculiarity of all these stories is that they come to surface when an election is nearing. They normally vanish after that.

    Q:What is your answer to my question?
    A: Due to this allegation, the farmer associations of Polonnaruwa decided to increase the height of the spill gates of Parakrama Samudraya by two feet. I invited them to hold their meeting in Hotel Araliya to discuss such matters.

    Q:You bribed them.
    A: It is not bribing. I offered them lunch and promised to do that construction of increasing the height at my expenses.

    Q:Have you found a solution for the hotel flooding?
    A: No. My hotel does not go under water.

    Q:Why did you say that the allegations come at election time?
    A: Yes, it is the nature.

    Q:Is there any sign of a general election?
    A: I ave no idea about that.

    Q:Who levels allegations during elections?
    A: It is the nature of the politics in this country.

    Q:Is this a plan to upset Minister Maithripala Sirisena by way of attacking Dudley?
    A: It is not like that. I may not fall.

    Q:Who do you attack indirectly?
    A: All our opponents rally after these allegations. In fact, my brother’s politics is the biggest obstacle to my business.

    Q:What are the other businesses you own except this hotel?
    A: I have 10 registered businesses. Araliya Rice, Hotel Sudu Araliya, Araliya Lands, Araliya Green Hill, Araliya Auto Car Sale, Araliya Consultant Service, Amtad Araliya, Araliya Engineering, Araliya Power and Energy and Araliya Grand Colombo.

    Q:What are the projects related to the Thopa Weva and Eramudu Weva?
    A: The bund is across Dumbulu Weva, Eramudu Weva and Thopa Weva.

    Q:Are you the hotel owner who damages the tank bund?
    A: No, I am the hotel owner who protects this tank bund. The accusers can come and see.

    Q:But you deployed an excavator there.
    A: Now, such machines are used to remove a construction. That is what happened there.

    Q:Why do you avoid that question?
    A: I do not avoid. I asked police and the Archeology Department to probe.

    Q:But the officials were not allowed to reach the scene. They were obstructed.
    A: I cannot come this far if I do not know and respect the law of this country.

    Q:That is valid for the ordinary people. But you are a brother of a powerful politician.
    A: What can I do being a brother of a powerful politician?

    Q:Do you mean you were unaware of it?
    A: I respect the public service. Obstructing the public service is a crime like killing a man.

    Q:What if it is proved that you have influenced a public official?
    A: The person who says so can go to police with media and lodge a complaint. Then I will not be able to interfere.

    Q:Is it a challenge to the country and people?
    A: Yes. As far as I remember, I have never done such thing.

    Q:As per the incidents you have forgotten?
    A: There may be such issues during the election period. They are not related to business.

    Q:Can you declare your assets?
    A: It cannot be revealed.

    Q:Do you pay the income tax properly?
    A: Definitely.

    Q:How much are your assets?
    A: About Rs. three billion.

    Q:Do the State banks lend to you lavishly without fear since your brother is a Minister?
    A: As I said earlier, I have never used his powers for business. I have obtained loans from State banks as well as private banks.

    Q:You are the second in the rice business in Sri Lanka.
    A: Society has such idea.

    Q:Is it not true?
    A: It can be so.

    Q:The rice mill of Minister Gamlath can be a challenge to the brother of Minister Maithripala.
    A: No. He is my teacher.

    Q:What if you speak the truth?
    A: I do not reject your allegation completely. But, I must say, my brother is not the person that helped me to grow. Minister Siripala Gamlath and Some Aiya, the brother of Upul Chandana, did it.

    Q:Now this big rice business is run by a Deputy Minister and a brother of a Minister.
    A: Yes. But don’t talk in the negative. We do not sell rice to people by force.

    Q:But, you have created an impact on the small scale rice mills and it is difficult for them to function.
    A: Is it wise to establish a tea factory in Polonnaruwa? This allegation is levelled by the businessmen brothers in Marandagahamula. Their rice is cheap but low in quality. Our productions are expensive but good in quality.

    Q:You say so for your benefit. But is it alright by your conscience to make the small businesses fail?
    A: We have never made the small businesses fail. It is the response of the consumer. They have rejected the bad products.

    Q:Did you deploy your cohorts at Habarana to stop lorries with paddy reaching Marandagahamula?
    A: It is a lie.

    Q:But you and Deputy Minister Siripala Gamlath are accused of purchasing large stocks of paddy with the help of the government and storing them. Then, the small scale businessmen have no rice to buy.
    A: The production of rice is low these days. But when the yields increase and flood into the market suddenly both, State and private sectors cannot manage the purchasing. Therefore, the private sector must be helped. We must not be discouraged.

    Q:Although there is a price control for Nadu rice at Rs. 68 a kilo. You and Deputy Minister Siripala Gamlath sell your products at Rs. 78. Police are said to be fearful of acting.
    A: This price control is a very outdated method. I have asked the President to import rice immediately since there will be a rice shortage due to the drought. I told him that we will be blamed unless we cater the people’s needs.

    Q:But you moved away from my question?
    A: In fact the price of any item goes up if that item is not produced adequately in the country. Today, a kilo of Nadu paddy is Rs. 45. How can we sell rice at Rs. 68? We are not responsible for the closure of paddy mills. We must consider them seriously.

    Q:The same as there are lots of allegations against you, there are allegations against your brother Raju also regarding illegal sand business.
    A: There is an issue regarding sand business. We have to admit it.

    Q:The meaning of the said issue is the atrocities committed with the powers of the Minister.
    A: I won’t answer that question. I can answer any question about me.

    Q:That means you cannot give an assertion about your own brother.
    A: I have 12 siblings and I have no time to look into the matters of all of them like that.

    Q:Do you get the contracts for the supplying of interlocking tiles for road building with the support of your brother?
    A: We supply interlocking tiles to many of the local governments of Sri Lanka.

    Q:The reason is your brother.
    A: No. The reason is the quality of the products.

    Q:Reportedly, your products are compulsory in Polonnaruwa.
    A: They are lies. Can I make my products compulsory in the entire of Sri Lanka?

    Q:There are many other producers of interlocking tiles but you get the tenders.
    A: The reason is that I use good quality cement. I challenge anybody to show if the quality is poor.

    Q:What could happen if this government had not come to power?
    A: We know business and after the end of war we had more business opportunities.

    Q:But you thrived under the present government.
    A: We can say our business developed rapidly during this period.

    Q:But it is said that the other businesses are losing. Did you thrive because your brother is Minister?
    A: Does Minister Maithripala Sirisena have a bank? His is the only Ministry in which the wives, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters are not to be seen.

    Q:You also can join?
    A: I also have proposed that my elder brother joins them instead of getting the blames without doing anything.

    Q:Nobody will come forward to prove the allegations against you?
    A: Why do you say so?

    Q:Because of the fear of your brother and you.
    A: I am very sorry about it. Is there no rule of law in this country?

    Q:But that statement is not valid in this country.
    A: I appeal to you not to consider the entirety like the failed 10%.

    Q:Haven’t you ever engaged in violence?
    A: I don’t say no. There are some incidents during the election times. But I have never been in remand.

    Q:But, two of your brothers were remanded?
    A: Yes. Two brothers were remanded.

    Q:You may have overpowered the Polonnaruwa police station?
    A: But, is the entire police on the side of SLFP? Why don’t they expose it?

    Q:But you can’t reject the allegations leveled by the people of Polonnaruwa.
    A: I don’t accept them. They are lies.

    Q: How many houses does Dudley Sirisena of Polonnaruwa own in Colombo?
    A: There will be one house in Colombo.

    Q: Where?
    A: Union Place, Colombo 02.

    Q:Must your brother be the Prime Minister?
    A: Definitely, he must be the Prime Minister.

    Q:One final question. Can there be smoke without fire? I mean the allegations against you.
    A: I have to say that all these are because of the political development of Maithripala Sirisena.

    On August 2012, Maithripala Sirisena claimed that during the 1994 presidential election campaign, all campaign details concerning the UNP presidential candidate Gamini Dissanayake were being secretly passed on to his opponent, Chandrika Kumaratunga by Ranil Wickremesinghe

  41. Independent Says:

    This is a trick to break UFPA votes by UNP. They will double cross and field Runil anyway.
    A big problem in the waiting for the country and President created it.

    What he can do is invite JHU and repeal 13th amendment immediately. Give them their demands. EVen Maithree will join back.
    Without delay he must do this can also cancel the elections.

  42. Lorenzo Says:

    Vimutti,

    But the PM has NO immunity from legal action. This is the BIGGEST problem.

    Look what our president did to TAMIL NADU DRUG dealers. Can the PM do that? No.

  43. mario_perera Says:

    Dear Marco,

    The parallel you draw between CP & Sirisena is most interesting.Many voters might even find it compelling living as we do in a country steeped in considerations of NEKATH, divination, and what the stars foretell.

    Thank you

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  44. Ananda-USA Says:

    Recently, some critics of the President at LankaWeb were complaining that NO INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS OF ANY SIGNIFICANCE are awarded to local firms and local engineers, and that ALL are given to the Chinese.

    Well, here is a Rs. 10 Billion project that was awarded to and completed SOLELY by local Sri Lankan engineers.

    I will post more on this as time permits.

    …………………….
    President to commission irrigation project in Sri Lanka’s North Western Province tomorrow

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Nov 21, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will declare open the largest irrigation project in North Western Province, Deduru Oya irrigation and hydro power project Saturday.

    The Deduru Oya Reservoir built under the project is located in Kurunegala District. It will serve the lands in dry and intermediate zones of Kurunegala and Puttalam Districts, where the irrigation water is scarce.

    It is expected to provide drinking water to 50,000 families and irrigate 33,000 acres of land. The project will generate 1.5 megawatt electricity and controls floods.

    The largest reservoir in the Northwestern Province was constructed by a 2.4 kilometer dam at Thummodera. The reservoir has a capacity of 60,000 acre feet of water.

    Deduru Oya irrigation project was completed with Rs. 10 billion provided by the government. Local engineers handled the construction without foreign expertise.

  45. Ananda-USA Says:

    BJP leader seeks ban on Sri Lanka terrorist leader’s birth anniversary celebrations in Tamil Nadu

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Nov 21, New Delhi: India’s Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP) leader Dr. Subramanian Swamy has asked the Indian government to ban a move in Tamil Nadu to celebrate the birth anniversary of Sri Lanka’s slain terrorist leader V. Prabhakaran.

    Dr. Swamy today urged India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh to issue a directive to the Tamil Nadu government to ban the move to celebrate birth anniversary of slain LTTE chief, who was responsible for the assassination of India’s former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, PTI reported.

    “These celebrations are being organized by MDMK leader Vaiko. MDMK must be ejected from the NDA and Vaiko should be locked up under the National Security Act,” Swamy said in a press release.

    The pro-LTTE Tamil Nadu political leader, the general secretary of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), V. Goplasamy aka Vaiko Thursday called for grand celebrations of the 60th birth anniversary of slain terrorist leader on November 26.

    Vaiko, an ardent supporter of the Tamil Eelam, a separate state in Sri Lanka, called for celebrations and prayers in places of religious worship at 7.18 pm on November 26, to mark the time of birth of the former rebel leader.

    “Celebratory chants should ‘reverberate’ the cause of Tamil Eelam on that day,” Vaiko said in a statement.

    During the final battle with the LTTE in Nandikadal Lagoon in Mullaitivu on 18 May, 2009, Sri Lankan security forces killed the terrorist leader, who was responsible for hundreds of suicide bombings that killed thousands of people and assassinations of two world leaders among other political leaders.

    The BJP leader said that a directive should be issued under Article 256, which mandated the Indian state to ensure compliance with the laws made by Parliament and any existing laws which apply in that state.

  46. Lorenzo Says:

    Nimal Siripala De Silva is the new PM.

    Another foolish decision. He is TOO OLD and cannot organize people.

    SB Dissanayaka should be the PM. He can get things done. SACK Basil from SLFP national organizer. He is useless.

  47. Vimutti Says:

    Lorenzo – the drug dealer pardons would have to be approved by Ranil as prime minister under Article 44(1) of the proposed JHU 19th Amendment.

  48. Lorenzo Says:

    Vimutti,

    In that case he will be sued because he is NOT above the law (unlike the president at the moment).

    Also it is easy to REMOVE a PM than a president.

  49. Lorenzo Says:

    An upcountry Tamil MP of UPFA group has left.

    His name is NOT in that list.

    Maithripala said he will make Run-nil the PM. Of course. But the parliamentary election is due in 2016 April or before!

    So Run-nil will be PM for a VERY SHORT time. I don’t think Run-nil’s party will WIN the GENERAL ELECTION. That is where the PM is selected. SOON Run-nill will be REPLACED by the leader of the party that WINS (NOT LOSE) the general election.

    So it is foolish to worry about Run-nil becoming PM in a DISSOLVING parliament.

  50. Independent Says:

    Lorenzo,
    In this unitary Lanka(web) we have given top priority (unanimously) to removal of 13A whilst non of the parliamentarians and the President has no interest at all ?

    What is the stand of BBS ? Buddhist groups have gone completely silent. Most Muslims, lead by Rajitha, will surely rally with Maithree. Tamils will vote anyone against the President.

    I thought the President has to appoint a PM from the majority of the parliament. In that case Runil PM dream may not come true at all.

  51. Independent Says:

    sorry about spelling. Should read “whilst none of the parliamentarians”.

  52. Lorenzo Says:

    BBS is just a govt. arm. They not demand scrapping 13 amendment.

    Run-nil will not be PM for long (IF at all he makes it).

    We should NOT mix up JHU’s 19th amendment with Sirisena’s promise. JHU’s 19th amendment will NOT pass. They don’t have the 2/3 for it.

    Even if Run-nil is appointed PM for a few months (UNTIL GENERAL ELECTIONS ARE HELD), he does NOT have the majority in parliament which means he will be SACKED (by a no confidence motion) and the leader of the LARGEST party in parliament will become the PM.

  53. Lorenzo Says:

    MR is facing a HUGE challenge from MS’s defection. MS has men INSIDE MR’s UPFA and govt. offices. They will undermine MR but IMPOSSIBLE to trace them.

    1. MS was the SLFP GS for 15+ years and MOST SLFP organizers, etc. are LOYAL to him. It is IMPOSSIBLE to identify who is loyal to MS and who is NOT. Those loyal to MS will DISRUPT the govt. and make it UNPOPULAR with the people.

    There is NO TIME to RESTRUCTURE the SLFP before the PE.

    2. The BIGGEST threat comes from MPs who have NOT crossed over. NO ONE knows who is secretly supporting MS. They will work to defeat MR secretly and through omission.

    3. Public service has been VERY BADLY POLITICIZED. MANY THOUSANDS of MS’s supporters are in influential positions in the govt. They will DISRUPT govt. plans, particularly popular plans. There is NO WAY to sack them or replace them in such a short time.

    The UNKNOWN enemy within is WORSE than the known enemy outside.

    To overcome this problem, MR will rely VERY HEAVILY on NON-SLFP MPs like Weerawansa. IF Weerawansa goes out of action for some reason, that will be a MASSIVE BLOW to MR. I’m sure UNP, etc. planners are looking at this.

  54. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    MS jettisoning the government and landing on the lap of UNP is a big drama for just now. Lot of excitement.

    When the Elections come, the big drama will be a damp squib. People will not vote for MS who is using the SLFP trade mark for his election campaigning. He will be treated as a down right traitor.

  55. Ananda-USA Says:

    Lorenzo,

    You said “BBS is just a govt. arm.”

    Are you sure, for BBS was recently promoting Ranil as the “common candidate” and ready to join the UNP in opposing MR’s election!

    The BBS could be a rabble-rousing proxy of the UNP itself!

  56. Marco Says:

    The gauntlet is thrown to MR-

    Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today reiterated that the United National Party (UNP) is ready to support President Mahinda Rajapaksa to implement the 19th Amendment to the constitution before the Presidential election.
    Speaking at an event in Kurunegala, the UNP leader said that the President can bring the 19th Amendment as an urgent bill to Parliament and the UNP will support it.
    The 19th Amendment looks to reduce the executive powers in the hands of the President and also reduce the number of Ministers in the Government.
    “We are ready to have the 19th Amendment passed without a debate. I am saying this in public so now it is in your (President) hands,” he said.
    The 19th Amendment was proposed by the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) and the UNP leader says his party fully backs the proposal and is ready to support it in Parliament.

    Mr President, why not take up this offer, JHU recommended and wanted by the people to reduce the executive powers and reduction of Ministers.

  57. Lorenzo Says:

    Please look at the Tamil POV.

    Tamil separatists think continuation of MR will further ISOLATE SL and MR will continue to give them UNFAIR benefits against Sinhalese and Muslims!!

    This seems very odd but this is how Tamil separatists think.

    SL has been isolated from the west during MR’s govt. EVERY YEAR SL gets bashed at the UNHRC. West has STOPPED giving loans to SL. Now they are investigating SL’s alleged war crimes. The report is due in 4 months. It will be a DAMNING report (obviously biased towards LTTE but there is nothing SL can do than get further isolated from the west).

    If this CLASH with western governments continues TAMILS believe there will be a UN INTERVENTION, sanctions and even restrictions in CRICKET.

    With the north Tamil ONLY, IF the UN intervenes for a referendum, it will say a BIG YES for TE.

    But Tamils don’t like to vote for MR. So they are likely to BOYCOT voting for Sinhala candidates this time too.

    This is EXACTLY what Tamils did in 1982. Tamils knew JR was on a collision course against Endia and LET him continue.

    The LEAD Kobbekaduwa got over JR from the north and Batticaloa district was VERY LOW because a Tamil candidate contested and won MOST votes.

    (This does NOT mean people should vote for MS!! He has NOT made it clear he will SCRAP 13 amendment. Bandit Queen and CFA Run-nil are with him which is a VERY BAD sign.)

  58. Lorenzo Says:

    Ananda,

    BBS makes many different statements at different times. But actions speak louder than words.

    BBS should have been arrested before they caused a lot of problems even riots. But NO action.

    Then the strangest of all!! BBS suddenly stopped attacking make shift mosques and Evangelical prayer centers because of the election.

    It is BETTER for MR if Run-nil the loser contests.

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