Dixon J. Perera, including his political status and current situation (2000 - 2005) [LKA100861.E]

Media sources reported in August 2000 that Dixon J. Perera, a member of parliament (MP) from then-president Chandrika Kumaratunga's ruling People's Alliance (PA), defected to the opposition United National Party (UNP) in an act of protest against the proposed constitutional bill (AFP 7 Aug. 2000; see also PTI 7 Aug. 2000; TamilNet 7 Aug. 2000). Perera represented the district of Colombo (The Sunday Leader 13 Aug. 2000a; AFP 7 Aug. 2000) and before his defection, was a member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) (PTI 7 Aug. 2000; The Sunday Leader 13 Aug. 2000a), one of the parties that made up the coalition PA (Political Parties of the World 2005, 559). Political Parties of the World reported that the PA was established in 1993 as "a coalition of left-wing groups dominated by the [SLFP]" but that prior to the April 2004 general elections, the PA was replaced by the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA), made up principally of the SLFP and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (ibid., 561).

According to the Colombo-based newspaper The Sunday Leader, Perera represented the area of Kesbewa and "severed all connections with the PA" following his defection (13 Aug. 2000b). Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that after crossing the floor of parliament, Perera took the seat of Ronnie de Mel, a former opposition MP who had joined the ruling party a week before Perera's defection (7 Aug. 2000). In an interview with The Sunday Leader, Dixon Perera described himself as the most senior member of parliament from the district of Colombo and noted that he had been an MP between 1987 and 1994 and had at the time of his 2000 defection been sitting in parliament for the previous two and a half years (13 Aug. 2000c). According to the same article, Perera was the son of Douglas Perera, a once-millionaire who had also represented Kesbewa for the SLFP (The Sunday Leader 13 Aug. 2000c). In the interview, Perera explained that his father had been a founding member of the UNP but later left the party (ibid.).

A 6 March 2002 Daily News article described Dixon J. Perera as a member of the UNP who, on 19 December 2000, had contested the chairmanship of the Western Provincial Council (WPC), one of seven elected provincial councils operating following "fresh elections ... held in 1993" and having political and administrative decision-making powers in Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka n.d.a). The Daily News article reported that because the secretary of the WPC had not declared him the new chairman, Perera went to the Court of Appeal, which upheld the election results in his favour (Daily News 6 Mar. 2002). The Court of Appeal reportedly ordered the secretary to declare Perera the winner of the election for chairman (ibid.). The Website of the WPC lists Angage Jagath Thilakasiri Perera as chairman of the WPC (Sri Lanka n.d.b). Information on Dixon J. Perera's current status in the WPC could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

Information on whether Dixon J. Perera ran for re-election between 2000 and 2005 could not be found on the Website of the Department of Elections or on the Website Sri Lankan Elections, run by Upali Newspapers Ltd. in Colombo.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Agence France-Presse (AFP). 7 August 2000. "Sri Lanka's Ruling Party Suffers First Defection ahead of Key Vote." (Factiva)

Daily News [Colombo]. 6 March 2002. Uditha Kumarasinghe. "Pandemonium in WPC as Members Challenge Jurisdiction of CA." http://www.dailynews.lk/2002/03/06/pol02.html [Accessed 24 Nov. 2005]

Political Parties of the World. 2005. (6th Edition.) Edited by Bogdan Szajkowski. London: John Harper Publishing.

Press Trust of India (PTI). 7 August 2000. "MPs Cross Over as Lankan Parliament Debates Constitution Bill." (Factiva)

Sri Lanka. N.d.a. "Provincial Councils." http://www.priu.gov.lk/ProvCouncils/ProvincialCouncils.html [Accessed 24 Nov. 2005]

_____. N.d.b. Western Province of Sri Lanka. "Western Province Provincial Council." http://www.wpc.gov.lk/wpcouncil/wpcouncil_index.htm [Accessed 24 Nov. 2005]

The Sunday Leader [Colombo]. 13 August 2000a. Suranimala. "How Ranil Checkmated CBK." http://www2.lanka.net/sundayleader/2000/Aug/13/politics.html [Accessed 24 Nov. 2005]

_____. 13 August 2000b. Raine Wickrematunge. "Bill Sinks amid Crossover Circus." http://www2.lanka.net/sundayleader/2000/Aug/13/politics.html [Accessed 24 Nov. 2005]

_____. 13 August 2000c. "'No Use Talking to a Person Who Wronged Me' - Dixon." http://www2.lanka.net/sundayleader/2000/Aug/13/politics.html [Accessed 24 Nov. 2005]

TamilNet. 7 August 2000. "Numbers Game Worries PA." http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=5275 [Accessed 24 Nov. 2005]

Additional Sources Consulted


The Europa World Year Book 2005, Political Handbook of the World: 2000 - 2002.

Internet sites, including: European Union, Sri Lankan Department of Elections, Sri Lankan Elections, United Kingdom Home Office, United National Party, United People's Freedom Alliance.