Ranil wins UNP leadership battle in Lanka
Last Updated: Thursday, March 24, 2011, 00:19
Colombo: Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday emerged winner in a bruising contest to retain his party leadership in the face of an open revolt by a section of the party.

According to the consensus reached during the party's working committee meeting held at the party headquarters SiriKotha, the party unanimously agreed to retain Wickremasinghe as the party leader while Sajith Premadasa and Karu Jayasuriya will be deputy leaders.

Wickremesinghe will now continue to function as the UNP leader, a position he held since 1994.

Premadasa, his challenger, gave up the fight despite being urged by a section within the party to oust Wickremesinghe.

"The working committee of the party was able to resolve all internal disputes. We have created a new deputy leader's position for Mr Premadasa," UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told reporters.

"Mr Premadasa will also handle parliamentary affairs of the party as deputy to Mr Wickremesinghe's opposition leader's position," Attanayake added.

Wickremesinghe, 62 and twice prime minister has once again successfully thwarted a move to oust him.

He is being blamed for the party's electoral misfortunes since 1994.

The party has spent time in opposition all but two years of the last 17.


First Published: Thursday, March 24, 2011, 00:19

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