PM to meet UNF and UNP to finalise NCM tactics

Thursday, 29 March 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Skandha Gunasekara

With the No-Confidence motion debate looming ever closer, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to meet the United National Front (UNF) and the United National Party (UNP) today (29 March) to come to a final decision on defeating the motion. 

Addressing the weekly post-Cabinet meeting media briefing, co-Cabinet Spokesman, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the various party leaders of the UNF had met on Tuesday (27) to deliberate their respective stances on the No-Confidence motion; and would convey their decision to the Premier today.

“The Prime Minister will be meeting with the leaders of the UNF at 4 p.m. on Thursday at Temple Trees to take a final decision on their position regarding the No-Confidence motion. Minister Bathiudeen, who was absent for Tuesday’s (27 March) meeting, will also attend Thursday’s meeting,” Minister Senaratne said. 

Meanwhile, co-Cabinet Spokesman Minister Gayantha Karunatilake said that the UNP Working Committee would be meeting today as well to decide the Party position. 

“UNP MPs met last week in Parliament, where everyone present unanimously pledged their support in defeating the Motion. Some MPs even signed a document giving their support, while absentee MPs voiced their support via mobile phone,” Minister Karunatilake said.

With regard to the restructuring of the UNP, the Minister said that specific changes to leadership had not been part of the agenda. Both Ministers were of the view that the No-Confidence motion would be defeated. 

“First we must tackle the matter of the No-Confidence motion. Once we have defeated that, we will begin the reform process of the UNP. Definitely from 5 April changes will be made in the UNP.”

When questioned regarding the dissent from within the UNP, Minister Karunatilake noted that there must have been confusion among some UNPers and that today’s meeting would clear the air.

Earlier this week, on Tuesday, SLFP Senior Minister S.B. Dissanayake said that the SLFP could find no reason to oppose the No-Confidence motion.

“The UNP, even now, is ready to meet with the SLFP to discuss the position. We are ready to talk,” Minister Karunatilake said.