Written by Keshala Dias
26 Apr, 2018 | 11:51 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – The new appointments made by the Political Council of the UNP yesterday, were approved by the party’s Working Committee today (April 26).
However, senior party member and Former Speaker Joseph Michael Perera scrutinized the appointments and resigned from the Working Committee.
The UNP Working Committee convened at its headquarters, Sirikotha, today (April 26) under the auspices of Party Leader, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Former Speaker Joseph Michael Perera who had criticized certain decisions at the meeting, left Sirikotha before it had concluded.
While leaving the premises, the former speaker said that he opposed the appointment of Ravi Karunanayake as assistant leader, and later when he asked if he was allowed to speak on the matter, he was told that the cannot do so as he is a Working Committee member.
The decisions taken at today’s (April 26) Working Committee meeting were officially announced by the party’s new General Secretary, Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. He confirmed that Sajith Premadasa will serve as Deputy Leader of the Party while Ravi Karunanayake will serve as the Assistant Leader.
Navin Dissanayake has been appointed as the National Organiser while Dr. Harsha de Silva will take over durities as the treasurer of the party. Ruwan Wijeyawardene is set to serve the UNP as it’s deputy General Secretary while Ajith P. Perera has been appointed as the Trade Unions secretary.
Several senior party members refused to make a comment to the media while leaving the premises following the meeting. Ministers Thalatha Atukorale and Lakshman Kiriella were among those who refused to make a comment.
State Minister of Foreign Affairs Wasantha Senanayake was questioned by the media as he exited Sirikotha, when asked if this was the change that they agitated for, the state minister responded cryptically stating that the people will find out exactly what they hoped for after the 30th of this month. He added that a group of members including himself wanted office bearers of the party to be elected but was told that there are no provisions for such an election in the party constitution.
Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said a more democratic party constitution is needed and he requested for the Ruwan Wijewardene Committee Report to be enacted as it calls for a leader to be appointed through an election.
National Organiser of the UNP, Minister Navin Dissanayake, said:
“Whats important is not just a change in heads in this party, the entire mindset has to be changed. It should be a journey centring party members. If the UNP’er isn’t happy, we cannot go on this journey.”
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