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Sri Lanka Freedom Party sacks rebel strongman from home turf

Mar 16, 2007 (LBO) – The ruling has party has sacked rebel parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera from the leadership of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) in his home district of Matara in southern Sri Lanka an official said. General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena told LBO that the decision taken yesterday was unanimous and Dulles Alahapperuma has been appointed in his place today.

The Matara mayor has been appointed as organizer.

The central committee of the SLFP also sacked Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi from his post as organizer in Kelaniya but no replacement has been made yet, Sirisena said.

Samaraweera also holds the post of Treasurer of the SLFP.

The two were sacked from their ministerial positions earlier, have been carrying a campaign against President Mahinda Rajapakse and his two brothers who hold the posts of defence secretary and presidential advisor.

Last week Samaraweera and Suriarachchi lodged a complaint at Sri Lanka's bribery commission calling for an investigation into a purchase of fighter aircraft.

Bank accounts of a newspaper run by an ally of Samaraweera was also frozen and a director arrested under Sri Lanka's tough anti-terrorist laws.

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