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Former Sri Lankan cricket captain backs Mahinda Rajapaksa

The former captain of Sri Lanka’s cricket team announced that he had joined Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party this morning.

Tillakaratne Dilshan took up party membership this morning, amidst Sri Lanka’s political turmoil which has seen Rajapaksa attempt to gain the office of prime minister.

Dilshan has previously praised Sri Lanka’s president, Maithripala Sirisena for the attempted move to implement the death penalty for drug traffickers.

In 2011, Mel Gunasekera wrote for AFP:

While [world record wicket-taker Muttiah] Muralitharan is the only Tamil in Sri Lanka’s team, the Muslim minority is partially represented by opening batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Dilshan, who has a Muslim father and Sinhalese mother, was born Tuwan Mohamed Dilshan but converted from Islam to Buddhism and changed his name.

His manager, Roshan Abeysinghe, said he did it "for personal reasons," adding that Dilshan "wanted a Sinhala identity".

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