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JHU quits ruling alliance, calls on Rajapaksa to follow 'teachings of Buddha'

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) announced that it will be quitting from the ruling Sri Lankan government coalition on Tuesday, in protest against President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

JHU leader Omale Sobitha, who announced the split on Rajapaksa’s birthday, told reporters,

"This (quitting) is not a challenge from an enemy force.”

"This is a birthday gift to the president to correct his ways. This is the advice of a friend given according to the teachings of the Buddha."

Technology and Research Minister Champika Ranawaka, a senior JHU member who previously warned that Sinhalese were becoming a minority, also announced his resignation on Tuesday.

The move led to National Freedom Front national organiser Jayantha Samaraweera to call on the JHU to reconsider its decision, stating that western factions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were attempting to “destroy national forces” on the island.

“We request Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka and the entire JHU members to reconsider the decision to withdraw from the portfolios in the name of the nation… We request the JHU not to fall prey of the NGOs,” he added.

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