Nimal Lansa, once a confidant of Basil Rajapaksa, is now leading the New Alliance, a political group formed to muster support for President Ranil Wickremesinghe in an election. The alliance initially operated from the Presidential Secretariat but now functions from an office at Lake Drive, Rajagiriya.
It held its first public rally in Ja-Ela a week ago, and Lansa claimed that 29 SLPP parliamentarians would soon join the alliance.
Political commentators suggest this may be a real possibility as many sitting parliamentarians feel they may not secure seats due to the perceived low popularity of the lotus symbol.
The New Alliance hierarchy includes its leader, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Susil Premjayantha, and Nalin Fernando, none of whom bring anything new to the table. Not even old wine in old bottles.
During a recent meeting between the New Alliance and Ranil Wickramasinha to discuss election matters, the SLPP team, led by General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam and including Rohitha Abeygunawardena, found Pavithra Wanniaratchchi and Sankiva Edirimanne unhappy to sit with the New Alliance. They demanded a separate meeting.
Kariyawasam reminded Ranil Wickramasinha that the SLPP had not endorsed his candidacy for the presidency within the common alliance, emphasizing the need for one-on-one discussions.
President Wickremesinghe had no alternative but to agree.