Defeated opposition presidential candidate General (retired) Sarath Fonseka was on Monday named the leader of the newly floated Democratic National Alliance (DNA), of which the ultra-nationalist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna would be a key constituent.
The announcement is an acknowledgement of the failure of the opposition parties that had come together during the presidential election in support of the former Army Chief to continue the understanding for the general election due on April 8.
Anoma Fonseka, wife of the former General who is currently in the military custody on a variety of charges, made the announcement on the formation of the new alliance at a news conference here. It was also announced that General (retired) Fonseka would fight for a parliamentary seat from the Colombo district.
However, it is not clear if General (retired) Fonseka will face any legal hurdles in filing his nomination papers as he is in military custody facing a number of serious charges. A case filed by the retired General challenging his detention is to be heard by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
As per Ms. Fonseka and other leaders present on the occasion, the objective of the new alliance is to bring in democracy to Sri Lanka and the leaders called upon all those who cherish democracy to rally with the DNA.
The major opposition party UNP has decided to fight under its own election symbol and is wooing several smaller opposition parties that had thrown their weight behind General (retired) Fonseka.
The efforts by some leaders to avert a split in the opposition parties were in vain and as a result, it would be a three-way contest in Colombo in the parliamentary poll.
If General (retired) Fonseka's nomination is successful, he will face UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa for the top spot in the Colombo district.
Though General (retired) Fonseka polled most votes in the urban pockets of the Colombo district in the presidential poll, President Mahinda Rajapaksa managed to get majority of the votes in the district as a whole.