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Sri Lanka's foreign minister says UNP loss due to Tamil national anthem

Sri Lanka's foreign minister, Tilak Marapana said on Tuesday that the UNP's election losses at the recent local government polls was due to the singing of the national anthem in Tamil at Independence Day. 

Speaking at a meeting of the UNP chaired by the prime minister, Mr Marapana was quoted by the Sri Lankan Mirror as saying, "the Sinhala Buddhist vote base of the UNP suffered by the day, losing 50,000 votes every times the Tamil version of the national anthem was sung."

The UNP minister, Sajith Premadasa said "the UNP lost its chance to move closer to the public due to its not having the Samurdi ministry", encouraging the prime minister to take over that ministry. 

Meanwhile minister Champika Ranawaka reportedly reiterated the "need to safeguard the Sinhala Buddhist vote base".