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Minister of Lands M.K.A.D.S. Gunawardana has passed away at the age of 68.

The Minister, who had been ailing for sometime, passed away at a private hospital in Colombo today, according to sources.

Gunawardana was one of the staunchest backers of President Maithripala Sirisena and was among the first group of MPs to cross over with Sirisena in November, 2014 when he came forward as the Opposition’s ‘Common Candidate’ for the 2015 Presidential Election.