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News Features  


 

Voting for a cause...

A. R. M. ABDUL CADER
(UNF - Mahanuwara district)

Date of birth: 30.10.1936
Preferential votes polled at the 2010 general election: 54,937

A senior UNP member, Abdul Cader had been functioning as the party’s Chief Organiser for Gampola for several years, until he crossed over to the government recently. Cader, who was the Minister of Co-operatives of the 2001-2004 UNP government, headed the Mahanuwara district UNF preference votes list when he was returned to Parliament at the 2010 April general election. Before crossing over to the government Abdul Cader criticised the UNP leadership for accommodating the SLMC leader on the UNF’s Mahanuwara district list at the last election. In August 2004, Cader was arrested in connection with a case of misappropriation of Samurdhi funds. He was later enlarged on bail. This case is pending in courts.


EARL GUNASEKARA
(UNF-Polonnaruwa district)

Date of birth: 12.07.1960
Preferential votes: 26,925

A well known businessman and hotelier, Earl Gunasekera began his parliamentary career when he was appointed an MP from the UNP national list at the 1994 parliamentary general election. He was later returned to Parliament from the Polonnaruwa district UNP list. He was the sole UNPer to be elected from the Polonnaruwa district list at the 2010 April general election. Due to his defection, the UNP is left with no MP representing the Polonnaruwa district.


LAKSHMAN SENEVIRATNE
(UNF- Badulla district)

Date of birth: 09.03.1957
Preferential votes: 31,560

Once an articulate member of the UNP rebel group calling for the ouster of Ranil Wickremesinghe from the party leadership, Lakshman Seneviratne has been representing the Mahiyangana seat and the Badulla district ever since the death of his father Captain C.P.J.Seneviratne, a former Labour Minister who represented Mahiyangana seat until his death. Known as a consistent critic of the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration, Lakshman Senevirtane’s defection to vote for the 18th Amendment came as a surprise to many people in the country. He also took the Opposition by surprise when he gave evidence against former General Sarath Fonseka at the Court Martial No.1. Incidentally with the defection of Seneviratne, the UNP has lost its representation in the Badulla district for he was the only party MP returned to Parliament from the district.


MANUSHA NANAYAKKARA
(UNF-Galle district)

Date of birth: 24.09.1977
Preferential votes: 49,690

A journalist by profession, Manusha Nanayakkara came into limelight when he began his career as an announcer on TV channel Swarnawahini. A former Southern PC member from the UNP, Manusha Nanayakkara created a sensation in UNP political circles when he won the second place on the Galle district UNF preference votes list pushing veteran UNP politician, former MP Vajira Abeywardena to the third place thus depriving the latter of a seat in Parliament.


NIMAL SENARATH WIJESINGHE
(UNF- Kurunegala district)

Date of birth: 15.12.1969
Preferential votes: 30,687

A former member of the Wayamba PC, Wijesinghe is a first time comer to Parliament. He is the owner of a well known Foreign Employment Agency in Kurunegala. Wijesinghe was functioning as the UNP Chief Organiser for Dodangaslanda when he defected from the party.


P. PIYASENA
(TNA - Digamadulla district)

Date of birth: 03.04.1961
Preferential votes: 11,139

A long time supporter of the TNA, Podiappuhamy Piyasena had started his political career as an activist of the EPRLF and later joined the TNA. Married to a Tamil, Piyasena, a trader in Akkaraipattu had been elected a member of the Aalaiaddyvembu Pradeshiya Sabha on the TNA ticket and later had functioned as its Vice Chairman. Fluent in Sinhala and Tamil, a Buddhist, Piyasena says that he never expected to win a parliamentary seat when he contested the last general election on the TNA ticket. Piyasena sprang a surprise on the TNA and the people in general when he decided to vote for the 18th Amendment in defiance of the decision of his party and a greater surprise when he announced soon after that the TNA which brought him to Parliament should be banned.


J. SRI RANGA
(UNF-Nuwara Eliya district)

Date of birth: 1971.01.22
Preferential votes: 33,948

A TV journalist and a popular talk show host, Sri Ranga hosted the ‘Minnal’ (Lightning) programme for several years that highlighted issues faced by the upcountry Tamil community. A regular participant in TV political shows, Sri Ranga began his political career as a member of the Purawesi Peramuna. He successfully contested the last general election on the Nuwara-eliya district UNF list.


UPEKSHA SWARNAMALI
(UNF - Gampaha district)

Date of birth: 26.O6.1984
Preferential votes: 81,350

A model and television actress, Upeksha Swarnamali made her mark as an actress when she played the main female role in TV teledrama `Pabha’. She too became a `surprise’ winner when she was placed second on the Gampaha District UNF preference vote’s list pushing UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya to a lower place at the last general election.


PRABA GANESHAN
(UNF - Colombo district)

Date of Birth: 01.04. 1964
Preferential votes: 42,851

A Colombo businessman, Prabha Ganesan began his political career as a member of the Democratic People’s Front led by his brother Mano Ganesan. He was elected to Parliament from the UNF nationalist in terms of an agreement reached with the UNP when the Democratic People’s Front became part of the UNF- the five-party alliance formed to contest the last general election. Praba Ganesan created a sensation in political circles when he crossed over to the government defying the party whip.