Marxists back Sri Lanka PM for presidency, say he agrees to redraft truce

Sri Lanka’s influential Marxist party said Monday it would support Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse for the presidency after he promised to drop plans for a federal state, redraft a truce with Tamil Tiger rebels and scrap privatisation. Sri Lanka’s influential Marxist party said Monday it would support Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse for the presidency after he promised to drop plans for a federal state, redraft a truce with Tamil Tiger rebels and scrap privatisation. The JVP, or People’s Liberation Front, said the premier had also agreed to ditch a tsunami aid-sharing pact with the separatist guerrillas.

Rajapakse’s election manifesto to be unveiled shortly would reflect the agreement, JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe told reporters.

Rajapakse, the presidential candidate of the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party, could not be reached while officials at his office and those managing his campaign said they had no comment.

“We have agreed to support the candidature of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse for the presidency,” Amarasinghe said. “We will sign the 12-point agreement in five to six days.”

If ratified by the ruling party, which is led by President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the JVP’s demands could lead to the comple