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PM PROMISES FURTHER UNP REFORMS

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday promised further reforms to the United National Party (UNP) structure.

The UNP leader in a statement said a policy decision has been made to implement recommendations of the Ruwan Wijewardene Committee and also to amend the party constitution accordingly.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa would be given more responsibilities, while Subject Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries would also be appointed to further strengthen party reorganisation.

“We intend to allocate new responsibilities to the Deputy Leader in order to further strengthen our journey to victory so as to drive the process of organising the party towards success. We hope to give more opportunities to young Members of Parliament to help drive forward the Party’s mission,” the Premier added.

The UNP leader also said that the party was aiming to give specific responsibilities to each of the Members of Parliament and with this in mind was developing an initial procedure to do this.

The Premier said many of the younger members of the team have been involved in driving the process of organising the UNP forward to enhance the day-to-day functions of the Party.

As such, a number of appointments have been made.

Among those who have come forward to take on responsibilities for the Party are Naveen Dissanayake who has been appointed as the National Organiser of the Party, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam as General Secretary, Harin Fernando appointed as head of mass-communication campaigns, Harsha de Silva appointed Treasurer and Ajith P.Perera appointed as Trade Union Secretary.

“The new energy and approach that they bring will undoubtedly pave a the way forward, together with the Deputy Leader and the Assistant Leader. With their commitment and untiring efforts, there can be no doubt that the Party will progress,” Prime Minister Wickremesinghe added.

The UNP Leader said that party supporters, who have faithfully backed the United National Party, eventhrough the most difficult of times, must be given priority.

“There remains a number of unresolved issues with our supporters that must be addressed. Furthermore, there are cases where justice had not yet been served where our supporters have faced injustice and we pledge that appropriate and immediate action will be taken regarding all these issues,” the Prime Minister said.

On the subject of efforts to re-organise the Party following the Local Government elections, the Premier said the UNP is a party that listens to its supporters and the people.

“We are a party that considers people’s opinions, attitudes and responses. We have accurately read and identified the message given to us by the people at the last Local Government elections and we are taking action to implement the necessary changes. In order to achieve this, we have made use of several Committee reports. The reports were reviewed by a Committee that was elected by Members of Parliament, and following discussions, recommendations were presented at the working committee meeting held recently,” the Premier said.

By reorganising the Party at the wish of the people, Wickremesinghe said the UNP has demonstrated that it is the only political party that is flexible and people focused.

“There are people who have criticised our re-organisation and there are those who have made light of this process. But none of them worked towards bringing our party to victory during the last local election. In fact, some of them actively worked against us. Some of them had the hidden objective of destroying the Party. However, we should not worry about their agenda. What we must instead focus on is taking the necessary action to strengthen the party with increased commitment,” the Prime Minister added.

The Premier went on to say that discussion and convention have always been the means of resolving problems within the UNP.

“Where possible, we always work to come to a common agreement on any issue, whether this involves the Working Committee or our Members of Parliament.

It is the proud tradition of the United National Party to respect all views, even controversial views, until a final common decision has been made. It is the duty of the true supporter to understand these traditions and to preserve them”.

The UNP Leader said the party plans to elevate more new faces to the level of the leadership and to bring in young blood to further strengthen it.

“The group of Members of Parliament, the Working Committee together with the newly appointed officers will implement the above plans with the utmost commitment and effort,” Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said.