It has now been revealed that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is planning to contest the forthcoming Parliamentary election from the Kolonna electorate, in Rathnapura district, under the symbol ‘Wheel’.
‘Wheel’ is the symbol of Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, led by former Minister Dinesh Gunawardena who is now a staunch supporter of Rajapaksa. Several round of discussions have already been held in this regard, a senior politician who is involved in the move told ‘Asian Mirror’ on Monday.
The former President’s son, Namal Rajapaksa, will contest from the Hambanthota district, which is the traditional stronghold of the Rajapaksas. Highly placed political sources told Asian Mirror that a few stalwarts of the United People Freedom Alliance are likely to align themselves with the former President at the election.
Interestingly, the former President does not have any ‘family connection’ with the Kolonna electorate. However, as a young lawyer in the late 70s, he started practicing at the Embilipitiya court, an area adjacent to Kolonna.
When the former President visited the Welikada prison this morning to see his former colleague Parliamentarian Tissa Attanayake, journalists asked whether he intended to contest the upcoming General Election.
“No one invited me to contest. I don’t even know about a development of that nature. I just came from the village. I don’t know anything,” Rajapaksa said.
Mahajana Eksath Peramuna was the party which formed a government in 1956, under the leadership of the late S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike.