UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake resigned from the UNP Leadership Council a short while ago.
While no reasons were immediately available for his sudden resignation the move is expected to be a prelude to the eventual abolishing of the Karu Jayasuriya led Leadership Council established by the UNP Working Committee in October 2013. Attanayake’s resignation was announced first on the Sirasa media network which is known to be very pro Sajith faction.
The dissolution of the Leadership Council is a major demand of the pro-Sajith group including political puppeteers Tiran Alles head of the Mawbima Group and Kili Maharaja head of Sirasa network. Negotiations conducted mostly through Attanayake with UNP Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe involved the pre condition from the Premadasa faction that the Council be dissolved if Sajith Premadasa is to accept the deputy leadership of the Party.
“This sudden move that came out of the blue really looks like an attempt to undermine the huge success achieved by Harin Fernando in Uva on behalf of the UNP” one UNP Parliamentarian told Colombo Telegraph a short while ago.
Political observers said that it was ironic that the UNP lapsed into internal disarray even when it performs creditably in an election.
“It is like sabotage. It helps the Government to take the gloss off Harin’s victories in Badulla” the Parliamentarian added.
Attanayake’s go-between role in the Ranil-Sajith reunification has the blessings of the top rungs of the Rajapaksa Government Colombo Telegraph learns.
Premadasa who watched the finals of the T20 World Cup that Sri Lanka won with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the hotel of high networth businessman Dilith Jayaweera is seen by some UNPers to be playing to a Government agenda. The Premadasa-Rajapaksa alliance has been growing stronger lately especially after the Defence Secretary bailed Dulanjali Premadasa out of a tightspot when a business associate was nearly arrested by the CID for fraud.
Several members of the Rajapaksa administration have urged Sajith to resume as Deputy Leader of the UNP a source close to the negotiations told Colombo Telegraph. The source said the move is believed to be the first step towards scuttling a common opposition platform at a presidential election which would be advantageous to the Rajapaksa regime.
Among Premadasa’s other demands are the total control of Sirikotha the party headquarters and that no other deputy leaders should be appointed alongside him.
Colombo Telegraph is in possession of information regarding the other ways in which Attanayake has been rewarded for his role in the negotiations between the UNP Leadership and Premadasa and his team of handlers. Those details will be revealed in further updates. Stay tuned.