- Sajith Premadasa to be Deputy Leader
- Ravi Karunanayaka’s appointment stirs controversy
The United National Party’s Leadership crisis and Reforms appears to have been resolved. After 4 days of intense meetings the Seniors at the UNP have come up with a consensus on how best to move forward. The latest proposals which will be confirmed early next week, will see beleaguered UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe retain his post as party leader and Leader of the Opposition, Karu Jayasuriya is promoted to Senior Deputy Leader and Sajith Premadasa has been offered the position of Deputy Party Leader. Tissa Attanayaka retains his position as General Secretary.
The post of National Organiser has been offered to Ravi Karunanayake but that has immediately set off a howl of protests from supporters of Lakshman Seneviratne, Ranjith Madduma Bandara and Dayasiri Jayasekera.
All three claim that the position of National Organiser should be given to them as they are the most senior of the frontline members.
Sources from the party headquarters, Sri Kotha said that the offer of a position has been made to Sajith Premadasa who has promised to respond by Monday. Previously Mr Premadasa has been on record saying he would only be interested in a position if it was the subject of an election. Mr Premadasa was said to have had three one-to-one meetings with his party leader, whilst others including Ravi Karunanayake, Tissa Attanayaka, Gamini Jayawickrama Perera and Karu Jayasuriya were kept waiting in the Chairman’s office. A friend of Mr Premadasa who had asked him if he would accept such a position had been told that there was no way he would accept – saying that this was not what the reforms process had envisaged. Mr Premadasa had said that he was unwilling to be a partner in a process that was at odds at what the people wanted: real reform and not cosmetic change, with the ultimate aim being to rebuild the electability of the UNP and to ensure that the UNP would again start winning elections.