Mahajana Eksath Peramuna

This article is about the political party founded in 1959 by Philip Gunawardena. For the political alliance founded in 1956 by S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, see Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (1956).
People's United Front
මහජන එක්සත් පෙරමුණ
மகாஜன எக்சத் பெரமுன
Mahajana Eksath Peramuna
Leader Dinesh Gunawardena
Secretary D. M. Karunathilaka Dissanayake
Founder Philip Gunawardena, William de Silva
Founded 1959
Headquarters No 35/A2, Pannipitiya Road, Thalawathugoda, Sri Lanka
Newspaper Desaresa
Youth wing The Federation of All Lanka(Ceylon)Youth League
Ideology democratic socialism
National affiliation United People's Freedom Alliance
Parliament of Sri Lanka
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Election symbol

The Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (People's United Front) is a left-wing political party in Sri Lanka. Today the party is led by Dinesh Gunawardena, son of Philip Gunawardena.

The MEP was founded in 1959 by Philip Gunawardena and PH William de Silva, on the basis of Gunawardena's previous party and founded on the principles of the earlier MEP. At the General Election of March 1960, the MEP obtained 10 parliamentary seats. In the 1960s the group joined with the Lanka Sama Samaja Party and the Communist Party of Sri Lanka to form the United Left Front. On September 29, 1963, 800 delegates, representing a million workers, ratified a charter of 21 demands that sought to encapsulate the demands and goals of Sri Lankan workers.[1]

In 1983, Dinesh Gunawardena, Leader of the MEP, became the common candidate to contest Maharagama by-election, which he won with an overwhelming majority to become one of the 8 members of opposition in Sri Lanka Parliament.

In 1989, the MEP contested alone under the new proportional representation electoral system and won three parliamentary seats out of 225, with Dinesh Gunawardena MP for Colombo District, Bandula Gunawardane MP for Colombo District and Gitanjana Gunawardena as National list MP.

In 2000, the MEP was one of the constituent members of the Peoples' Alliance, where MEP had three representatives in Parliament, with Dinesh Gunawardena MP for Colombo District, Bandula Gunawardena MP for Colombo District and Somaweera Chandrasiri as Nationalist MP.

At the Sri Lankan parliamentary election, 2004, the party was part of the United People's Freedom Alliance that won 45.6% of the popular vote and 105 out of 225 seats. There were two MEP representatives in the parliament including one National list MP. Two representatives are Minister of Urban Development & Sacred Areas Development & Chief Government Whip, Dinesh Gunawardena and the Housing Minister, Gitanjana Gunawardena.

At the last parliamentary elections, April 2010, the party was part of the United People's Freedom Alliance that won nearly 2/3 in Parliament with 143 out of 225 seats. At present there are three MEP representatives in the current parliament including one National list MP. Three representatives are Minister of Water Supply and Drainage and Chief Government Whip, Dinesh Gunawardena MP for Colombo District, Deputy Minister for Finance, Gitanjana Gunawardena National List MP, and Sriyani Wijewickrama, Attorney-at-Law, MP for Digamadulla (Ampara) District.

Mahajana Eksath Peramuna is also successfully represented in other branches of Government, including Provincial Council Members, 2 from Colombo District, and 1 each from Gampaha, Badulla, and Hambantota Districts. At Local Government level MEP is represented in Municipal Councils, Urban Councils, and Pradeshiya Sabhas, in Districts of Colombo, Kalutara, Galle, Hambantota, Ratnapura, Digamadulla, Anuradhapura, Vavuniya, Nuwara Eliya, and Trincomalee in nearly 30 councils.


  1. Chapter 19: Anguish and pain Asia Times Online - December 15, 2001
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