Clearly showing divisions in the SLFP, several key ex- Parliamentarians supporting President Maithripala Sirisena did not take part in the rally held in support of Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The notable absentee among them was Minister Duminda Dissanayake who boycotted the rally held at Salgadu stadium in Anuradhapura.
S.B. Dissanayake, Shantha Bandara and Sarath Amunugama too were not seen among members who took part in the rally.
Although Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva attended the rally, he looked stressed and pensive.
A few hours before the rally, President Maithripala Sirisena appointed a new electorate organizer for Mihinthale. He was S.M. Ranjith Samarakoon, Chief Minister of the North Central province. Samarakoon is widely considered as the political rival of Minister Dissanayake.
The rally did not have a single picture of President Maithripala Sirisena who is also the Chairman of the UPFA.