Sajith Group vows to fight ‘illegal’ procedure in appointing UNP National Organiser

Legal action or Emergency National Convention says Ranjith Madduma Bandara


by Zacki Jabbar

Ranjith Maddumabandara, who lost out to Ravi Karunanayake in the race for the UNP’s National Organiser post, said yesterday in Colombo, that he was considering legal action or calling for an Emergency National Convention, to challenge what he termed ‘illegal procedure’ adopted in making the appointment.

He told a news conference called by the Sajith Premadasa Group, that many UNPers had urged him to challenge in court the disregard for constitutional requirements in making the appointment at issue.

Asked if he would resort to legal action, Madduma Bandara said that it was being considered, while another option being discussed was to call for an Emergency National Convention of the party.

He said that according to the New UNP Constitution, the Advisory Council (AC) could decide on the composition of the Working Committee(WC), but the National

Organiser who was a member of the AC had been elected only after 88 of the 92 member WC were appointed, which made it an illegal body, he said.

When pointed out that Sajith Premadasa was also a member of the AC, Madduma Bandara said that Premadasa had objected to Karunanayake’s appointment, but UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had overruled his objections.

Madduma Bandara alleged that only about 40 members had been invited to the first meeting of the New Working Committee on Tuesday and most them were Wickremesinghe loyalists.

Wickremesinghe, who had challenged Premadasa for an election to the position of leader, was scared to hold a poll to elect the National Organiser, Madduma Bandara claimed adding that he had been a member of the WC for the last ten years and would have won if there had been a contest.

While the UNP was losing elections, it was implementing a programme to safeguard various members’ positions, he charged.

Sajith Premadasa said that he would fight the dictatorship in the UNP with the support of the people.

He said the procedure that had been adopted in appointing the National Organiser was in contravention of the party constitution, which stipulated a ballot in the event a consensus could not be reached.

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