Former Sri Lanka world cup winning Captain Arjuna Ranatunga’s 19 year Parliament stint came to an end with his party UNP failing to secure a seat in Gampaha district. Former off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan’s brother Muttiah Prabhakaran also failed to win parliamentary seat from Nuwara Eliya District under the SLPP.
First elected in 2001, Arjuna Ranatunga won 4 parliament elections before losing in his 5th attempt to enter parliament.
Muralitharan was on the forefront in taking off his brother’s political career, having aggressively led the campaign, along with former swashbuckling opener Sanath Jayasuriya. In his quest to send his brother into the parliament, he even backed controversial Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s campaign for the election.
Last month, Weerawansa’s media unit had said that Muralitharan had organised a meeting between Weerawansa and Tamil businessmen in Colombo over the weekend. The meeting took place at the Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo and was attended by a number of Tamil businessmen. Tamil businessmen representing traders in Pettah were among those who attended the meeting. Weerawansa’s media unit said that after addressing the meeting Minister Wimal Weerawansa offered solutions to the issues faced by the Tamil businessmen.
Later, Muralitharan faced a nationwide backlash for his support to Weerawansa’s campaign.