Colombo Telegraph

UNP Meets To Adopt Historic Changes To Party Leadership

The United National Party has gathered at its headquarters in Pitakotte for a crucial Working Committee meeting that may see sweeping reform proposals adopted for the creation of a leadership council that will steer the party’s future course.


Following a meeting between UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and MPs Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa this morning, the Working Committee convened at 4 p.m. to give life to proposals agreed upon by the trio.

The meeting is currently underway at Sirikotha even as thundershowers rain down on Colombo.

Under the proposals, also mooted by Buddhist monks affiliated to the UNP, the Leadership Council will be chaired by Karu Jayasuriya, senior party man and former Deputy Leader of the UNP. The Council will comprise 9 members.

Colombo Telegraph reliably learns that Premadasa may not agree to be a member of the new Council. Following a meeting between Premadasa, Jayasuriya and members of the United Bhikku Front in Kurunegala yesterday, the monks put forward three more reform proposals. Premadasa told Wickremesinghe at today’s meeting in the morning that unless the Leader agrees to adopt all 11 proposals now presented by the monks, it would be better for the present status quo to remain.

The all or nothing attitude adopted by Premadasa, party sources said, was indicative of the fact that the young MP would prefer to let Wickremesinghe remain leader if all of his demands were not met.

Premadasa attended the meeting with the priests in Kurunegala yesterday with expelled UNPers Maithri Guneratne and Shiral Lakthilake in tow.

Wickremesinghe is expected to agree to take up the position of Senior Leader as suggested by the monks. He will make a special statement to the Working Committee today, UNP sources said.

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