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04 April, 2008 - Published 12:48 GMT

JVP 'suspends' Weerawansa

President Mahinda Rajapaksa's political ally, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), has decided to take displinary action against one of their most senior leaders.

JVP has decided to suspend the membership of Propaganda Secretary and parliamentary group leader, Wimal Weerawansa, on 21 March, media reports said.

The party, it is reported, has decided not to make public the decision until after the eastern Provincial Council (PC) elections.

Saturday's rally

The JVP is to mark the 37 anniversary of the first JVP uprising in Colombo on Saturday.

When asked by BBC Sandeshaya whether Mr. Weerawansa would attend the rally, JVP parliamentarian Vijitha Herath said the question simply does not arise.

There was no need to specifically question his participation, Vijitha Herath said, adding that those who were nominated by the party would attend the rally as usual on Saturday.

He refused to comment on media reports of displinary action against the parliamentary group leader.

Mr. Weerawansa, who was regarded as the JVP's public face, was reportedly accused of violating the party discipline.

While JVP senior leaders called for the disarmament of the militant groups in the east before the PC elections, Wimal Weerawansa recently argued otherwise.

He has told journalists in Colombo, last week, that those who argue that Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) should be disarmed should 'consult a psychologist'.

The TMVP which is formed by Karuna is currently led by Pillayan, who contests the elections with the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The JVP earlier sacked another senior leader, Nandana Gunathilake.

Mr. Gunathilake who was JVP's presidential candidate in 1999 supported Rajapaksa government at the vote for budget proposals, last year, as JVP abstained from voting.