UNP to focus on elections,  ignore dissidents

* Kabir Hashim appointed new UNP Chairman
* 25 expelled for violating party discipline



by Zacki Jabbar


The first meeting of the UNP Working Committee (WC) for this year was held yesterday at Sirikotha with the consensus being that the focus should be on winning provincial and national elections expected to be held this year and not on petty issues such as sorting out positions.


Informed sources said that a conspicuous absentee was Sajith Premadasa. However, Thaltha Athukorale, who along with Sajith declined to accept their appointment to the Leadership Council(LC), was present.


The outgoing Chairman Gamini Jayawickrema Perera and Mangala Samaraweera called for a halt to unnecessarily wasting time discussing petty issues raised by some dissident members in the media. All their energies, they noted, should be directed at winning the Western and Southern Provincial Council elections and Presidential and Parliamentary polls which are expected to be held this year.


They pointed out that the UNP had been caught in a trap by discussing petty internal issues without focusing on the larger picture which was to oust the government which they called corrupt and dictatorial.


National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and Chairman of the LC Karu Jayasuriya urged the membership to unite setting aside whatever minor differences there may be, in the interest of the party.


Jayasuriya explained the steps undertaken to reorganise the party countrywide under their 100-day programme aimed at contesting future elections.


They also called on dissident members to stop running to the media for the slightest thing and raise their grievances before the WC or the LC.


The decision taken at last month’s Convention to appoint Kabir Hashim as the UNP’s new Chairman was endorsed by the WC.


The WC also approved the recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee to expel 25 members who had continued to violate party discipline,despite being pardoned once on appeal .


Among those who lost their membership were some Pradeshiya Sabha Members who had stoned the party headquarters after Ranil Wickremesinghe was re-elected UNP leader at the December 20,2011 elections, those who had worked against the party during the last local and North Western Provincial Council Elections,Western Provincial Councillor Nimal Peris, who had joined the Democratic Party led by Sarath Fonseka and Southern Provincial Councillor Krishantha Pushpakumara, who has joined the government.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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