Crossover pressure mounts in Sri Lanka as opposition runs out of options

January 23, (LBO) – Around 18 opposition parliamentarians will crossover to the government by Monday in the first round, if a cabinet re-shuffle takes place over the weekend, a United National Party ‘Karu’ faction official said.

The LTTE also split in two after it stopped fighting the government during the ceasefire agreement. Parliamentarian Rajitha Senaratne says another four parliamentarians may also join government ranks in a second round later.

Though talks between Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and former Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya ended cordially, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake says he cannot say anything about possible measures to prevent crossovers.

Political sources say feelers have been sent to President Rajapakse about the possibility of the UNP joining the government officially.

The crossovers may be delayed on the President’s decision on that issue.

Meanwhile Karu faction sources say there is a possibility of about 10 other members joining the government as some are apprehensive about being left with the ‘weak’ remnants of the party, which may never be able to come to power.

Political analysts say the weak and lethargic leadership of the UNP which has failed to direct the