Internal sabotage plots within the opposition continue to come to light with UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake expected to join ranks with the UPFA today.
Reliable reports reaching the Colombo Telegraph are now confirming that DNA MP and Businessman Tiran Alles has been in tight negotiations with the Government on Attanayake’s behalf.
UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa has been a tacit supporter of the move to effect Attanayake’s defection to the Government.
As a precursor to this week’s crossover Premadasa launched into a chorus of high praise for Attanayake at the UNP Convention last Saturday.
Premadasa told the membership at the convention that it was Attanayake who was responsible for bringing unity back to the UNP. Premadasa said that it was because of Attanayake that he was even able to speak at the convention that day.
Highly placed UNP sources said Premadasa was strategically elevating Attanayake’s profile to ensure that his departure is perceived as a severe blow to the main opposition party.
Colombo Telegraph can now reveal that straight after the UNP convention on Saturday, Attanayake went to Alles’ residence. On Sunday night Attanayake spent several hours at the businessman politico’s residence negotiating the details of the crossover deal.
Attanayake who failed to win his electorate in the Kandy District in the 2010 general election is a member of the UNP’s National List in Parliament.
Tiran Alles is well known to be in league with Defence Secretary and presidential sibling Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Colombo Telegraph has previously revealed that Alles has been a member of Gotabaya Rajapaksa‘s Tuesday Tea Party at Central Bank, together with Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Chief Justice Mohan Pieris and the Defence Secretary himself. Alles is also a close associate of Gotabaya acolyte and high networth individual Dilith Jayaweera.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Tiran Alles and Sajith Premadasa gathered at Jayaweera’s Citrus resort in April this year to watch the finals of the T20 World Cup in a special private room.
Alles is Premadasa’s main financial backer and political advisor. Alles’ newspapers strongly back Premadasa and recently engaged in a overt campaign to have Ranil Wickremesinghe appointed opposition candidate to contest at the January 8 presidential election. The maneuver was believed to have been made in order to weaken the UNP chances at the election and ensure Premadasa could take control of the party post-poll.
It is now an open secret that the Rajapaksa regime desperately wanted UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to contest the January election, since his support among the Sinhalese Buddhist majority has taken a beating in recent years. UNP insiders remarked that it was curious how the Rajapaksa administration, Sajith Premadasa and Tiran Alles all wanted the same candidate to contest the presidential poll.