EPDP’s Douglas Devananda Meets President Sirisena and UNP leaders Seeking Inclusion in Govt as Cabinet Minister

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) leader Douglas Devananda has offered to join the UNP-SLFP coalition.

Political sources told The Island that EPDP leader Douglas Devananda had met President Maithripala Sirisena to explore the possibility of joining the coalition on the side lines of on-going SLFP-UNP deliberations as well as talks among the constituents of the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) regarding cabinet portfolios.

Sources said Devananda has also made representations to the top UNP leadership in this regard. Devananda seeks a cabinet portfolio.

Responding to a query, sources said that accepting EPDP would be subject to approval by both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Devananda managed to regain his seat in the Jaffna electoral District at the recently concluded parliamentary polls. Although, the EPDP contested all five electoral districts, it could secure only one seat at the Aug. 17 polls.

The EPDP contested the general election on its own though it being a longstanding constituent of the SLFP-led UPFA.

Former UNP Jaffna District MP Vijayakala Maheswaran, too, retained her seat. The Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) secured five out of the seven seats in the northern electoral district. The EPDP and the UNP shared the two remaining seats.

Having failed to secure a Jaffna seat, the UPFA accommodated SLFP Jaffna District organiser Angajan Ramanathan via the National List. President Maithripala Sirisena has evinced a keen interest in building an SLFP base in the Jaffna peninsula in accordance with his overall strategy to revamp the party organisation in the Northern Province as well as the Eastern Province, sources said.

Courtesy:The Island