Wednesday, 16 October 2013 00:30
Ranil spells out Leadership Council powers to Karu, Sajith
Monks want senior leader position for Ranil, to be decided by Working Committee
Trio to meet again for
United Bhikku Front wants resolution within two weeks further discussions
By Dharisha Bastians
The proposal to make United National Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe ‘senior leader’ while a newly established Leadership Council replaces the powerful position of party leader will be put to the Working Committee when it meets next, Daily FT learns.
The decision follows a first round of talks on the proposed Leadership Council to resolve the crisis in the main opposition UNP which ended late last evening between Wickremesinghe and his former deputies, Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa.
The meeting was held at the party’s Colombo 5 office.
During the meeting the UNP Leader read out a list of powers and functions that will be delegated to the Council by the party’s Working Committee, the UNP’s apex decision making body. Draft documents on the proposed powers to the Leadership Council were handed out to Jayasuriya and Premadasa, Daily FT learns.
Among the powers being discussed for the Council, was (a) the power to plan policy and strategy for the party at all levels, (b) to appoint electoral organisers in consultation with the party leader, (c) the power to issue orders and directives to all party members and (d) the ability to take disciplinary action against those who disobey these directives, Daily FT reliably learns.
The Council will also have several other powers and functions with more to be considered as the discussion continues.
Wickremesinghe also read from the document’s preamble, to provide the rationale for the power-sharing arrangement between the Ranil-Sajith-Karu factions.
All three leaders also met with Buddhist monks from the United Bhikku Front separately before their meeting. The monks strongly mooted the proposal for Wickremesinghe to assume the Senior Leader position. The monks called for Jayasuriya to head the Leadership Council while Premadasa would be a Council member.
The monks are calling for a resolution of the UNP crisis within two weeks, senior party sources told Daily FT.
Premadasa read from the monks’ document proposing the senior leader position for Wickremesinghe during the evening meeting of the leaders, it is also learnt.
The trio will meet again soon for further discussions, party sources said.