After being battered at last Thursday`s local council elections, the UNP is going all out to gain control of the prestigious Colombo Municipal Council despite losing the court battles.
The party`s Assistant General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said the UNP would continue its battle in the Supreme Court, though the Court of Appeal on Friday refused to grant leave to appeal against the order upholding the rejection of the party`s nomination list.
While the court battles continue, the party is focusing on its option of contesting through an independent group or the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress.
The UNP`s Colombo mayoral candidate, Sirisena Cooray, is reported to have briefed the party candidates on the progress made in working out a deal with an independent group which is registered under the spectacle symbol.
According to party sources, the leader of the independent group has worked out a deal to accommodate the 59 UNP candidates but nine of the 59 independent group members are reportedly refusing to resign and this might cause complications.
Adding to the complications, the independent group leader B. Rajendra while negotiating with the UNP is also reported to have met President Mahinda Rajapaksa before he left for Pakistan. In a further twist to the Colombo city poll, Mr. Cooray`s briefing to party candidates reportedly excluded deputy mayor Azath Salley and veteran T. M. Sangadasa.