Written by Tharushan Fernando
31 Jan, 2017 | 8:25 pm
A daily newspaper today reported that the UNP leadership has decided to re-organise the party, starting this week.
Former seniors of the United National Party say the party leadership resorts to such re-organising measures whenever the leadership is challenged.
The newspapers report that Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had instructed party seniors yesterday with regard to re-organising the United National Party.
Over the years, the United National Party, on a number of occasions, resorted to re-organisation.
The conjecture of former senior party activists is that these re-organisations were never the reason for victory.
At a time when there was opposition from within the party calling for a leadership change, in the year 2000 at the party convention in Kandy, a full-time General Secretary was appointed.
Following the 2004 loss, several new positions including a new deputy general secretary was created in a bid to control the unwelcome tensions that brewed from within the party.
With the break away of 17 UNP members several changes were made to the party’s constitution including the expanding the Working Committee, in order to control the internal revolts that arose in 2006.
With the growing rancour over the lifetime leadership of the the party, constitutional changes were made with the appointment of a committee led by Joseph Michael Perera to come about with a process in selecting the party leadership.
A constitutional change was made in the year 2012 with the inclusion of the clause stating that, elections for the party leadership should be held every six years or following a major national election.
Former senior party activists believe that continuous changes being made through the appointment of various positions, simply to secure the leadership, is the result of continuous defeats in elections.
He added that the Government of Good Governance has been created and the grassroot level UNP supporters are dissuaded.
Re-organising can take place with calls for the protection of the party aimed at rebuilding the trust that has been broken with the political tussle. However, the ultimate objective must be to protect the party and the leadership, while this might be a propaganda attempt or an attempt to undermine the grievances of the people, according Attanayake.
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