minority parties joining government
By Chris Kamalendran
Three minority leaders, Rauff Hakeem, Arumugam Thondaman, and P.
Chandrasekaran, are likely to join the Mahinda Rajapaksa adminstration
shortly, The Sunday Times learns.
Rajapaksa met CWC leader Thondaman and is scheduled to meet SLMC
leader on Monday in a bid to win their support for his administration.
UPF leader Chandrasekaran is also due to meet the President.Mr.
Hakeem has decided to end the boycott of the All-Party Conference
(APC) on the peace talks and attend the meeting tomorrow.
to political sources, the CWC has agreed to end its long standing
opposition to the Upper Kotmale hydro-power project in return for
the cabinet portfolio for Mr. Thondaman.
say Mr. Thondaman is likely to get the Airport and Aviation portfolio
before the local council polls on March 30 while Mr. Chandrasekeran
is likely to get a portfolio linked to the plantation workers.
CWC and the UPF are contesting the local elections in the Nuwara
Eliya district on the UPFA ticket while in at least seven other
local councils the CWC and UPF are contesting together.
symbolize the CWC’s new links with the government, Nuwara
Eliya District parliamentarian Muttu Sivalingam on Friday took part
in a project to build alternate houses for those who will be displaced
by the Kotmale project.
Confirming the CWC’s decision to drop his objections to Kotmale
power project, Mr. Sivalingam said priority would now be given to
the welfare of the people displaced by the project. He said that
in another significant change, only one waterfall would be used
instead of five.
Vice President R. Yogarajan said a party delegation led by Mr. Thondaman
on Thursday met President Rajapaksa to discuss a series of long
standing issues. He said that among them were supply of electricity
for the estate sector, improvement of roads and housing in the area.
the CWC decided to extend support to the government at the March
30 local elections, President Rajapaksa had directed the Defence
Ministry to increase the security for Mr. Thondaman. His security
had been reduced to five policemen soon after the Presidential elections
in November. The Sunday Times learns that CWC also wants the government
to drop investigations regarding the detection of undistributed
computers and sports goods in a house rented out by a CWC member.
in a strategic shift, apparently linked to the SLMC’s move
to join the government, the LTTE has reportedly invited NUA leader
and Minister Ferial Ashraff to visit Kilinochchi. Ms. Ashraff who
was a member of the government delegation at last month’s
Geneva talks is an arch rival of Mr. Hakeem.