UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who promised radical changes in the United National Party after April 4th has now moved to consolidate his position having survived the vote on the no-confidence motion tabled by the Joint Opposition.
The Working Committee and the Parliamentary Group of the UNP which met on Saturday (7th) have decided that changes at the top are not urgently required, Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake has told the Daily Mirror.
Earlier, when the outcome of the no-confidence motion was still unclear, Wickremesinghe promised to hand over the leadership of the party ‘to a new group’. It was also reported that he had told Sajith Premadasa, one of the key aspirants to the post of Party Leader, to ‘be ready to play a bigger role in the party’.
The Working Committee would meet on April 8 and 9 to formalize these changes, it was promised.
Wickremesinghe even told loyalists who had gathered at the party headquarters ‘Sirikotha’ that he would ‘completely restructure the party and give more opportunity for new faces’ with a view to win the presidential election scheduled for 2020.
However, the final outcome of discussions indicates a clear U-turn on these pledges. While a special committee with more powers than both the Working Committee and the Parliamentary Group, has been appointed to take decisions with regard to the appointments of new office bearers of the party.
The 11-member committee includes Navin Dissanayake, Ajith P. Perera, Harin Fernando, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Eran Wickremeratne, Ruwan Wijewardene, Mangala Samaraweera and Ranjith Madduma Bandara.