A celebration of sorts
It happened last Tuesday soon after news spread that Information and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera, had resigned for "personal reasons."
According to Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) insiders, one of the aspirants for the post Deputy Minister, Dilan Perera, was sure he would be the successor.

He arranged for a dinner party and asked many a colleague to attend. Most accepted and a few declined. One of them was a former Deputy Minister, Mervyn Silva, who in his inimitable way replied "I do not want to get into any controversies or conspiracies."

As the evening grew, there was no news about a Cabinet appointment. It was then that Parliamentarian Hussein Bhaila was getting phone call after phone call from Dilan.

He told him to make it a point to drop in for even a few minutes. The reason surfaced only during the party. A guest asked what the occasion was. "Why, Bhaila won his court case
today and we are celebrating it," said Dilan.
Bhaila was surprised that his friend had organised a party after the Supreme Court held that his expulsion from the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and thus the UNP was invalid.

What is she up to?
Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was not so keen to go ahead with amendments to election laws when he was approached by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse last week.

It was President Kumaratunga who had told the PM to speak to the Opposition Leader. She wanted to increase the number of seats in Parliament.
Perhaps a larger number to collect a two thirds majority after elections, or what ?

UNP stalwarts clash
The flare up between two United National Party stalwarts in the south came in Akmeemana last week. It was between Hemakumara Nanayakkara and Vajira Abeywardena.
It came when UNP deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya was chairing a meeting. Nanayakkara referred to him as the future Prime Minister.

Abeywardena who spoke thereafter declared that no one could be referred to as a future Prime Minister since there was no such person. A future Prime Minister was the prerogative of a future President. Hence, he argued, that there was only a future President. The battle was re-enacted again at a meeting of the UNP Political Committee in Colombo.

This Political Committee meeting also saw former Minister Milinda Moragoda being hauled over the coals. This was for his meeting with President Kumaratunga to seek a pardon for jailed former Minister S.B. Dissanayake. He was asked what more was discussed and why he accepted a luncheon invitation.

Shutterbug Wimal
And while TNA MPs held their protests inside Parliament on Tuesday and Wednesday, there were camera flashes going off periodically. It was none other than JVP MP Wimal Weerawansa who had turned shutterbug and was busy taking pictures of his fellow parliamentarians.

Auspicious pull-out?
One of the scribes queried from the JVP at its press conference on Friday whether June 16 had been considered an auspicious day to withdraw its support to the UPFA government if the Government failed to shelve the proposed joint mechanism.

The JVP leadership laughed off the question, but it seemed pertinent as the UPFA had been formed at an auspicious time on an auspicious day.

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