Former Foreign Affairs Minister Rohitha Bogoillagama is to re-join the UNP, according to sources from the UNP headquarters.
Bogollagama was one of UNP Leader Ranil Wickrmeesinghe’s close friends and even after defecting to the government on an invitation by then President Chandrika Kumaratunge, he continued to keep in touch with Wickremesinghe.
One of UNP’s powerful members in the Kurunegala District Johnston Fernando joining the government and UNP MPs from the district Dayasiri Jayasekera and Ashok Abeysinghe agitating against the party leadership has now weakened the UNP in the Kurunegala District.
In this backdrop, senior UNP member representing Kurunegala, Gamini Jayawickrema Perera has also agreed that Bogollagma should be taken back to the UNP and allowed to lead the party in the Kurunegala District since he hails from a traditional family in the area.
Bogollagama, who is the SLFP Kotte organizer, is now engaged in various social services programmes in Kurunegala.
He had even organized a programme in his former electorate Nikaweratiya in the Kurunegala District for his birthday.
One of Bogollagama’s friends told us that he has been disgruntled for some time since Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa carried out development work in his electorate without any discussion with him and the President’s failure to appoint him to parliament through the National List and appoint as the Foreign Minister.
He further noted that Bogollagama is displeased that the President has not shown his proper appreciation to him for carrying out his work as the Foreign Minister in a manner to prevent any international criticism towards the government during the period of the war.
It is learnt that the President has sidelined Bogollagama since his wife Deepthi Bogollagama was openly criticizing the President. Deepthi Bogollagama was in the same batch as the President and the late Jeyaraj Fernandopulle at Law College.
The President it is learnt had not been pleased since Deepthi was of the habit of calling him “Mahinda” even at ceremonial events.