With the appointment of the Leadership Council for the United National Party the crisis situation that existed in the UNP has further aggravated. Several United National Party (UNP) parliamentarians and recently elected provincial council members have decided to stand as independent members in the Parliament as well as in the respective provincial councils.
They have publicly stated that the United National Party does not have a future under the leadership of Ranil Wickremasinghe or under the so-called leadership council which they claim a bogus council to protect Ranil Wickremasinghe and his cohorts.
Party sources said that the Parliamentarians who have decided to stand independent in the Parliament are Palitha Range Bandara, Ashoka Abeysinghe and Dilip Wedaarachchi. They said that some other members too would join this group to function as independent members.
This situation has also resulted in the Central Provincial Council. They have taken this decision since the United National Party leadership has not consulted the elected members in nominating the opposition leader for the Central Provincial Council and many of the elected members are against the member arbitrarily nominated by the party leadership. The rebel group in the Central Provincial Council is reported to be led by the veteran UNPer Lucky Jayawardene.
Meanwhile, the Southern Provincial councilor Maithree Gunaratne has criticized Karu Jayasuriya for accepting the chairmanship of the leadership council and thereby giving validity to an illegal move and has said that the problems faced by the UNP have worsened due to the newly-appointed leadership council.
He has further stated that the leadership council would only provide temporary solutions to the party’s problems, and through it, Ranil Wickremesinghe has conspired to demote the United National Party to the third political force in the country.
The Trade Union organization of the UNP, the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya has also accused Karu Jayasuriya for shattering the hopes of the party members.
The deputy organizer of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya Ananda Palitha, has accused Jayasuriya of having made a big betrayal by misleading the United Bhikku Front through his decision to accept chairmanship of the leadership council.(niz)