No change in UNP Leadership: Tissa

Tuesday, 1 October 2013 01:29 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Confirms Karu will be reappointed to Working Committee on 7 Oct
  • Key decisions about party reform at Working Committee meet
  • UNP General Secretary claims party leader cannot be blamed for polls defeat
  • Tamil people will support UNP at national election
  The main opposition United National Party that suffered a debilitating defeat at the 21 September provincial elections will soon reappoint its former Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya to the party’s apex decision making body but party officials are denying speculation that its Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will step down. Addressing a media conference yesterday UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said Jayasuriya would be reappointed at the party’s 7 October Working Committee meeting. Jayasuriya’s membership in the top committee lapsed after he contested Wickremesinghe for the leadership in December 2011 and was defeated. Attanayake said there was no truth to the speculation that UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe would step down. “There has been an exchange of ideas and proposals about what changes need to be made due to the party’s set back in the provincial elections,” Attanayake said. He added that key decisions in this regard would be made at the Working Committee meeting early next month. “Between 1977-1994, the SLFP would have lost hundreds of elections. But the blame for all those defeats do not land at the feet of Sirimavo Bandaranaike,” Attanayake said. He said blame for the defeat must be shared since all party members worked on the election campaigns. “The UNP is not interested in toppling anyone else’s regimes, only the Rajapaksa regime,” he quipped. Attanayake said it was ironic that most UNP members agitating for reform usually ended up at the feet of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. “It is no secret that there are groups within the party that are carrying out contracts on behalf of the Government,” he charged commenting on the call for radical changes in the face of the latest setback for the UNP. (DB)