Sri Lanka rebel lawmakers woo Marxists

June 25, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka ruling party two-man rebel faction led by sacked former foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera has invited the Marxist-nationalist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) for talks. The duo has accused the government of corruption, nepotism and autocratic rule and claimed the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party has no internal democracy. In a letter addressed to JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva, Samaraweera, identifying himself as the convenor of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Mahajana Wing sought a meeting with the Marxists.

“In order to discuss the present political situation of the country and to find consensus on forging a common way forward, we intend to meet with all political parties,” Samaraweera told Silva.

Samaraweera was closely associated with striking an alliance with the JVP that defeated a government headed by United National Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in 2004.

The JVP is an influential political force, which in 2004 forced the new government to subsidize fuel with printed money, driving inflation up and forcing the national currency down and created an economic crisis which was narrowly averted with tsunami aid.

It also discredited a ceasefire an