Ranil to remain UNP Leader

No issue regarding leadership: Range Bandara


By Sumudu Chamara


Despite assurances that he would handover the leadership of the United National Party (UNP) to Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene in January 2021, Ranil Wickremesinghe will remain as UNP Leader for the foreseeable future, The Morning learnt.

“There is no issue regarding the party leadership. We have someone at the helm who has the knowledge, experience, and proven performance, and who is both locally and internationally accepted,” Palitha Range Bandara, who is the newly appointed UNP General Secretary, told The Morning yesterday (13).

He was responding to a query made by us, following the conclusion of a UNP Working Committee meeting, as to why the previous announcement made by the party to the effect that the leadership mantle would be handed over to Wijewardene had not been implemented.

Several key changes were made to top positions within the party hierarchy at the Working Committee meeting held yesterday. Chief among them was that Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has been appointed the new UNP Assistant Leader while Ruwan Wijewardene will continue to serve as the party’s Deputy Leader.

Vajira Abeywardena has been appointed Chairman, Palitha Range Bandara the General Secretary, Arjuna Ranatunga and D.M. Swaminathan were appointed as Senior Vice Chairmen, and Sagala Ratnayake, Sunethra Ranasinghe, and Daya Gamage as Vice Chairmen.

Range Bandara further said that the UNP Working Committee decided to appoint Nalaka Colonne as the Deputy General Secretary, Anoma Gamage as the Assistant General Secretary, Ranjith Samarasinghe as the International Affairs Secretary.

He added that the UNP Working Committee also discussed how responsibilities should be entrusted to the newly appointed officials.