Tuesday, 15 October 2013 00:17
Attempting to take a stab at reform in the party’s leadership structure, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will meet former Deputies Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa today to arrive at a formula for the establishment of a Leadership Council.
The meeting will be held at 4 p.m. at the party’s Sirikotha Headquarters, even as proxy wars between the Ranil and Sajith factions of the UNP reached a crescendo yesterday with the impending arrest of Wickremesinghe stalwart, Mangala Samaraweera.
Samaraweera is expected to be taken into custody today over his alleged involvement in intra-party violence in Matara on 5 October, when his supporters clashed with pro-Sajith UNP rebels protesting against Wickremesinghe’s leadership.
The trio will attempt to arrive at consensus over how the proposed leadership council will function, after Wickremesinghe agreed last week to transfer some of his powers to the Council. The Daily FT learns that the Council will likely have nine members, with Jayasuriya expected to assume chair.
Consensus between the three UNP bigwigs will likely be reached only if the proposed council is granted significant power to implement crucial changes required to re-energise the main opposition party, highly-placed UNP sources told the Daily FT.
The compromise proposal was brokered by senior Buddhist monks affiliated to the party, who suggested that the Leadership Council replace the all-powerful UNP Leader. However Wickremesinghe has expressed a desire to retain the position of UNP Leader.