Sajith walks out of UNP working committee meeting

Sajith Premadasa

The UNP working committee meeting yesterday ended in a stalemate following the issue on the symbol of the alliance led by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa to contest the next general election.

Mr. Premadasa and few others had walked out of the working committee meeting protesting against the proposal made by some members that the elephant should be the symbol under which the alliance should contest the election. It was reported that some suggested the ‘heart’ as the symbol of the alliance.

UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said the majority of the members were of the opinion that elephant should be the symbol of the party. However he said it was decided to refer the matter to an advisory committee which was appointed on an earlier date and then make the final decision on Friday February 14 2020.

“Many were of the opinion that the elephant should be the symbol while party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had also informed the working committee that he had received legal advice that the alliance should not contest under a new symbol. The Party leader informed that the UNP legal wing had advised him that the party constitution does not provide provision to contest under a new symbol other than the elephant. However the final decision will be made by Friday,” Mr. Kariyawasam said.

MP Harsha De Silva who is also the UNP Treasurer told journalists that he himself and others including Mr. Premadasa were dejected as an opportunity to finalize matters pertaining to the alliance was lost yesterday. “ Mr. Premadasa who was dejected informed party leader Wickremesinghe that there was no point in appointing him as the leader of Opposition, the leader of the alliance if he was not given any power,” Dr De Silva said. He confirmed the reports that Mr. Premadasa left the working committee meeting “ Sajith Premadasa left the official UNP working committee meeting after telling party leader Wickremesinghe to lead the party at the next general election unless he is willing to let him actually lead the alliance without trying to buckle it,” Dr. de Silva said in his twitter message.

However it was revealed that the working committee approved MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara as the General Secretary of the new alliance while Mr. Premadasa would be the leader. Mr. Madduma Bandara himself confirmed this when he spoke to the media after the working committee meeting. “We will settle all matters within the next few days,” he said while highlighting that 90 percent of the UNF alliance symbol issue mired in stalemate issues pertaining to the alliance had already been resolved.

(Source: Daily Mirror – By Yohan Perera)