Common candidate seeks Mannar Bishop’s support to win presidential race

ElectionsCommon Opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena who is on an election campaign to the  north  met Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph on 30 December and sought his support at the January 08 presidential poll.

Mr. Sirisena was accompanied by former ministers Rishard Bathiudeen, Rajitha Senaratne and several United National Party (UNP) stalwart Ravi Karunanayake visited the Madhu Church before meeting the Bishop.

Issues discussed at the meeting were not disclosed but former minister and leader of the All Ceylon Muslim Congress (ACMC) who had been accusing the Mannar Bishop of being pro-LTTE settled differences with Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph when the opposition met the Bishop.

The Mannar Bishop and Bathiudeen had been at odds with each since 2012 over the resettlement of war displaced in Mannar and an attack on the Mannar Court.

Bishop Rayappu Joseph in a statement last week said both President Mahinda Rajapaksa and common opposition candidate Maithiripala Sirisena “have taken positions contrary to Tamil interests”, and therefore, explicitly calling for “a vote for either of the main candidate will be tantamount to accepting a unitary constitution and to rejecting international investigations.”

The opposition delegation addressed an election rally at the Mannar Urban Council ground before proceeding to Vavuniya, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi to address election rallies. They are also scheduled to address a couple of election campaigns in the Jaffna town.

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