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
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
"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.