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Last updated: 13 February, 2008 - Published 18:15 GMT
 
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Sripathi laid to rest
 
Late MP, Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi's body (photo Elmo Fernando)
Late MP briefly left Sri Lanka due to death threats, says his brother
Politicians from all spectrums in Sri lanka paid tributes to Sripathi Sooriyaaracchi as he was laid to rest on Wednesday.

The National Organiser of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (Mahajana wing) was killed as the car he was driven met with an accident on Saturday.

Political leaders from the ruling coalition and the main opposition United National Party (UNP) attended the funeral in Kandana, Gampaha district.

Death threats

The late parliamentarian had serious threats to his life, his brother Dr. Chaminda Sooriyaarachchi told BBC's Elmo Fernando.

"My brother briefly left Sri Lanka after the budget vote on 19 December as threats to his life were increasing," Mr. Sooriyaarachchi said.

 My brother briefly left Sri Lanka after the budget vote on 19 December as threats to his life were increasing
 
Dr. Chaminda Sooriyaarachchi

However, the brother said he had no evidence to call it a suspicious death.

The SLFP (M) voted against President Rajapaksa's budget proposals.

In a statement to media, SLFP (M) leader Mangala Samaraweera said Mr. Sooriyaarachchi revealed many alleged corruption in the government.

'Courageous politician'

The UNP meanwhile called on the authorities to conduct an impartial investigation.

"It is natural that people are suspicious. It is the duty of the government to clear those suspicions," UNP parliamentarian Johnston Fernando told BBC Sandeshaya.

Late MP's wife paying last respects (photo Elmo Fernando)
Late MP accused President Rajapaksa of offering money to LTTE

The loss of Mr. Sooriyaarachchi, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said, is a great loss to Sri Lanka.

Both TULF leader V Anandasangaree and CWC deputy leader R Yogarajan praised the late MP's courage, leadership and his service to the people in Gampaha district.

Minister Risath Badiurdeen represented the government at the funeral.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa's political ally, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) prised Mr. Sooriyaarachchi's contribution to bring Mr. Rajapaksa to the presidency.

'Great patriot'

JHU media spokesman, Nishantha Sri Varnasinghe, described the late MP as a 'great patriot'.

"He fought for the unitary Sri Lanka and to defeat terrorism," he told BBC Sinhala.com.

 He fought for the unitary Sri Lanka and to defeat terrorism
 
JHU spokesman, Nishantha Varnasuriya

Mr. Sooriyaarachchi who was one of the main organisers of Mr. Rajapaksa's presidential campaign was sacked from the government by President Rajapaksa on 09 February, 2007.

He later accused President Rajapaksa of offering millions of rupees to the LTTE to secure their support for his presidential campaign.

The government agreed to appoint parliamentary select committees to probe the alleged deal and alleged corruption in purchasing fighter jets from Ukraine.

 
 
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