Rishad Badurdeen, a cabinet minister in the Rajapaksa regime, who has been causing ethnic unrest between the Muslims and Tamils in the North has defected from SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s UPFA and joined hands with the joint opposition on Monday, news sources in Colombo said. Mr Badurdeen, who is elected from North and Amir Ali, elected from East, together with many other All Ceylon Muslim Congress (ACMC) members have pledged their support to common opposition’s presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena a short while ago in Colombo.
The minister and the MP along with many other ACMC members arrived at the Opposition Leaders Office Monday evening and are in a news briefing being held with the participation of UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga.
Badurdeen and his supporters were notable absentees at the recent election meetings held in Mullaiththeevu and Ki’linochchi when SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa was undertaking his propaganda campaign.
Mr Amir Ali was earlier a councillor of the Eastern Provincial Council. He won the election to the EPC in ACMC ticket.
In the meantime, the lone politician of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) Veerasingam Anandasangaree, who announced his retirement from politics in June this year has issued a political statement urging Tamils to back the common opposition presidential candidate Maithiripala Sirisena in the upcoming Sri Lankan presidential elections. The 81-year-old politician, who had lost his bearings in the Tamil political realm, has been earlier backing Mahinda Rajapaksa during the genocidal onslaught against Eezham Tamils.