Leader of the Opposition and United National
Party, Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe was unanimously elected
Chairman, Asia-Pacific Democrat Union (APDU). The APDU is part
of the International Democrat Union (IDU) with the mission of
promoting common democratic values and to help people in
countries were democracy is fragile or oppressed, a press
release from the Opposition Leader Office said yesterday (18).
Mr. Wickremesinghe in accepting the APDU
Chairmanship presented his three-point program of activities and
milestones that include membership expansion, fund-raising,
campaign management assistance and protecting and promoting
democratic values. The Membership Expansion would focus on a
dialogue with political party leadership in South, South-East
and East Asia in order to attract new members from key nations.
Campaign Management Assistance will focus on enhancing member
partyís capabilities in management and strategy for winning
elections, the press release said.
Mr. Wickremesinghe emphasized the importance of
protecting and promoting democratic values in the Asia-Pacific
The APDU Council meeting is part of the IDU 9th
Party Leaders meeting currently taking place in Washington, D.C.
IDU is chaired by Mr. John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia
while Mr. Jan Petersen, Foreign Minister of Norway holds the
Deputy Chair. The meeting si hosted by the Republican Party of
the United States, a member of the IDU as well as the APDU.
IDUs global alliance comprises of 80 political
members in 60 nations along with its regional organizations
including the Asia-Pacific, American, African and Europeans
Democrat Unionís. The IDU was founded on 24th June 1983 in
London by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, then Vice President
George H. W. Bush, President Jacques Chirac, and Chancellor
Wickremesinghe will be in Washington, DC until
July 19 participating in the IDU Party Leaders meeting.
President George W. Bush will host fellow IDU
Party Leaders for a roundtable on democracy and freedom at the