Written by Staff Writer
06 Sep, 2018 | 8:37 pm
Colombo (News 1st) – The United National Party celebrated its 72nd anniversary today (September 06).
In the year 1946 D.S Senanayake, S.W.R.D Bandaranaike and others, gathered at the Palm Court’ mansion in Colombo and created the United National Party. D.S. Senanayake who was the leader of the UNP was the first Prime Minister of independent Sri Lanka.
The country saw rapid development during his tenure and after his demise, his son Dudley Senanayake became the leader of the party as well as the Prime Minister. J. R. Jayewardene became Dudley Senanayake’s successor and the party won an unprecedented five-sixths of the seats in parliament in the year 1977.
J. R. Jayewardene then became the first executive president of the country and the UNP opened up the economy and revolutionized the entire outlook of the country. Ranasinghe Premadasa took charge of the United National Party and became the executive president of the country.
President Premadasa’s successful people-oriented programmes include the Gamudawa, Janasaviya, the garment factories programme and many more.
While the country was being developed on one front, leaders like Gamini Dissanayake, Lalith Athulathmudai, A.C.A Hameed, Ronnie De Mel and Sirisena Cooray took the United National Party from strength to strength. Though the UNP held onto power for 30 years since its inception, they have not been able to elect an executive president from the party since 1994.
Ranil Wickremesinghe became the leader of the UNP in 1994 and has held on to that position for 1/3rd of the party’s existence. It is in this context that the United National Party celebrated its 72nd anniversary, today.
Addressing the gathering Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, the General Secretary of the UNP stated that the leaders of the United National party have established their ideologies over the years and have won many things for the country. He went on to state that since 1994, for 24 years the UNP has held power at various capacities and however they have not yet been able to establish a strong government.
Deputy Leader of the UNP, Minister of Housing and Construction Sajith Premadasa, received an overwhelming response from the party supporters when addressing the audience. Minister Sajith Premadasa stated that on the 1st of January 2020 they have plans to begin constructing 5000 more Uda Gammana projects in the country.
Further he stated that by the time the project concludes they would have constructed 20,000 houses. He added that what they hope to achieve through all of this is to realize the objective of late Ranasinghe Premadasa, a shelter for all or the “Samata Sevana” concept.
He stated that the presidency, the position of prime minister, and ministerial positions are temporary responsibilities.
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