I’ll continue as PM under the Constitution: Ranil

2018-02-16 16:45:24

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said today he would continue to function as the Prime Minister under the current Constitutional provisions and that any attempt to form a new government should also be carried out in line with those provisions.

"We conducted the local government elections on a single day and it was easy to organize the elections," he told a news conference. "We accept the results of the elections and it indicates a setback for all political parties within the government. That has to be accepted. The reason for the set back are the adverse situations on the economic front. We managed to stabilize the economy in 2016 and 2017. The Central Bank informed us that it was expecting a 5 to 5.5 per cent GDP growth and the end of 2017. However the floods, drought and the Meetotumulla tragedy created several issues. Prices of essential items went up. We managed to control it to some extent but coconut prices remain the same. The agricultural sector suffered a collapse. There are issues relating to fertilizer. Such issues would no doubt affect the popularity of any government. There were other reasons as well for the government’s set back. We fulfilled a part of the pledges given by us on January 8, 2015 while there were others which were not fulfilled. We accept the warning given by the people."

The Prime Minister said studies were already underway to determine the success of the programmes launched by the government with a view to restricting them within the next two years while rectifying the shortcomings.

"We are carrying out discussions on restructuring the government in accordance with the new programmes and vow to carry the January 8 mandate forward. The UNP also suffered a setback as a political party. The party therefore will undergo a major restructuring programme. At the party’s 70th anniversary I said it is high time that we produced a new leader. There are people who joined the party in 1970 and others who joined in 1994. Some of them can come forward and take over the party. The restructuring of the party will be one which enables a new generation to take over the leadership. The restructuring of the party will be implemented when the Elections Commission completes the formalities to form the new administrations of local bodies. The new leadership can takeover when those formalities are over. The party is currently discussing the modalities of restructuring," he said.

The Prime Minister said the current government would continue to administer the country.

"When I met the President he told me that other parties such as the joint opposition wanted to meet the President and I told him to go ahead with the discussions and get their ideas as well," he said.

The following are the questions asked by the journalists and his responses:

Q: You are taking of reforms in the UNP. What do you mean when you talk of reforms and how do you hope to get about it?

It is to see the emergence of a new leadership group. That means young people. Some of them have been in politics for the past five to ten years. We have to bring them out. I have been in the party for more than 40 years. We want to ensure a smooth transition of the party leadership without disruption. I will discuss it with the members of the party and we will go ahead with it.

Q: You have been the leader of UNP for more than 20 years don’t you think it’s time to hand over the leadership to someone else?

That’s why I said we are going to create a new generation of leaders. It will be implemented when the Elections Commission completes the lists of elected members to local bodies. It won't happen in 24 hours.

Q: Reports say that you are being asked to resign from the post of Prime Minister. They say even the President is making the same request. What is your response.

We will work according to the Constitution.

(By Yohan Perera)


Pix by Pradeep Dilrukshana

  Comments - 57

  • Lakmal Friday, 16 February 2018 17:06

    Your baila is enough. Please step down from PM post and Leader of UNO. PLEASE go now.

    Reply : 165       191

    Lawry Friday, 16 February 2018 18:52

    Not the right time to go. He must first stabilize the country and then go.

    Reply : 59       128

    Mohan Friday, 16 February 2018 20:20

    He will be the leader of UNP till death.

    Reply : 17       93

    Maha-Janaya Saturday, 17 February 2018 08:16

    What for? If you want to hear BAILA, go to the LG bodies' President and PM!!

    Reply : 6       15

    True UNPer Sunday, 18 February 2018 00:24

    people - His pep talk suggest that RW is now trying to bring another one from Kelaniya family to leadership!

    Reply : 0       4

    Jagath Leanage Sunday, 18 February 2018 01:41

    Let him eat whole country before quitting from politics .

    Reply : 0       5

    Dhammika Friday, 16 February 2018 17:06

    The most SHAMEFULL politician of Independent Sri Lanka.

    Reply : 137       181

    Premalal Friday, 16 February 2018 17:33

    The most shameless Prime minister and the most inept President has been a bad combination for the country.

    Reply : 79       149

    Deepal Friday, 16 February 2018 17:14

    How many restructuring processes you want to go through to keep your leadership (30 election defeats so far), just sod off now....Oh I forgot, you still haven't finished the diaspora funded division of the country programme and sorting out mates of central bank robbery, so your plan is to hang on covering behind "Leadership group". and what is flabbergasting is that 35% of the country still support these dimwits..

    Reply : 70       122

    Lion Friday, 16 February 2018 17:15

    UNP has come to this humiliated position simply because of you.Your friends and cronies who have deals with the rouges of previous regime disappointed those who back you at the presidential election. So the end result was a bitter one.Never take people for ride next time it will be more disastrous.

    Reply : 41       132

    Killa Friday, 16 February 2018 17:16

    Start transferring power to the next generation now. Need to push Ruwan Wijeywardana ,Harsha etc to national level politics

    Reply : 34       108

    Very True Friday, 16 February 2018 17:32

    Yes, very true. Thanks for your comment

    Reply : 17       56

    Dave Friday, 16 February 2018 19:10

    Harsha's name is on the crossover list..

    Reply : 11       32

    True UNPer Sunday, 18 February 2018 00:27

    What about Sajith. Any attempt to sideline Sajith will be suicidal to UNP.

    Reply : 1       2

    Cham Friday, 16 February 2018 17:18

    MR and RW will contest even in 2050 election. Two power greedy people.

    Reply : 46       94

    Banda Friday, 16 February 2018 17:40

    Don't be stupid to compare MR with RW. MR passed the leadership baton to MS when a revolt started after his defeat. RW kept the leadership for 24 years after 28 defeats byforce.

    Reply : 59       90

    Mohan Friday, 16 February 2018 20:17

    @Banda, MR gave the SLFP leadership, because he had to do according to the party constitution. He didn't give up politics.

    Reply : 13       41

    GH Friday, 16 February 2018 22:55

    Power Greedy is RW not MR who is wanted by the PEOPLE. RW lost countless Election to set a record in the WORLD.

    Reply : 16       36

    Gon bando. Friday, 16 February 2018 22:55

    Have you forgotten the attempted coup after 08th January?

    Reply : 18       30

    Ranga Friday, 16 February 2018 17:19

    As UNP supporter, I’m very disappointed what I’m seeing right now . I will NOT vote you guys until this man stay till PM... MR. Wickramasinghe you should leave now with respect and allow others to build this party with new leader ....

    Reply : 35       93

    Premalal Friday, 16 February 2018 17:35

    You have no respect left but leave now before you are kicked out.

    Reply : 24       64

    Piranha Friday, 16 February 2018 17:20

    Bad decison

    Reply : 19       58

    Sunil Friday, 16 February 2018 17:33

    I fully support Ranil because he is the only man in politics today who has a good background, educated in the university of Ceylon without favouritism, long experience in good positions, a lawyer with a good personality and intellect to represent Sri Lanka internationally. This is the basic truth. He can easily grasp complex matters in other fields. I noticed this in the recent induction of chartered accountant president.

    Reply : 122       102

    ransam Friday, 16 February 2018 18:50

    Can you pinpoint a single decision by Ranil during last 3 years as PM which has resulted in any economic development in the country. Truth is that you can call him Mr. Clean and Brainy one but when comes to implementing policies or reforms he don't have a clue what he is doing

    Reply : 20       51

    Lima Friday, 16 February 2018 19:36

    very true , intelligent people of sri lanka vouch this version , only the fools of sri lanka will go against this statement. There is nobody in sri llanka to represent sri lanka in all departments except for Ranil , this is an open challange

    Reply : 38       35

    Mohan Friday, 16 February 2018 20:19

    Ayyo, he doesn't even understand the needs of the people. Promising free WiFi, gold chain etc. Doesn't have a vision for the country. All empty promises.

    Reply : 17       43

    Sarath Friday, 16 February 2018 17:43

    Great! We need RW as PM for now at least. Imagine the disaster if Siripala is PM (supported by MR) will mean back to the MR ages!

    Reply : 39       81

    Gayan Friday, 16 February 2018 17:57

    Yes we need him as PM ortherwise how can SLPP get 2/3 majority in next election.

    Reply : 20       65

    Banda Friday, 16 February 2018 17:48

    However much he lose RW will not leave his position voluntarily. Just imagine he was elected as the president. He would have become a dictator like Marcos. MS should discard him like a rotten apple for his national government is no more.

    Reply : 18       44

    Bibile maama Friday, 16 February 2018 17:50

    Ranil; with the conclusion of the LG eletion, you are an irrelevant entity in the Sri Lankan politics. Leaving the affairs of PM to a capable and acceptable person is the only option for you.

    Reply : 17       42

    Ajja Friday, 16 February 2018 17:57

    Known Devil is better than the unknown Evil....

    Reply : 32       25

    Upul Friday, 16 February 2018 17:57

    You are a person who doesn't want to listen to people and do what you want to do at all times. You have displayed this many a time, and we the people, are sick and tired of it. It is called the GREEDINESS or the SELFISHNESS. Please listen to people and get lost you LOSER.

    Reply : 14       49

    Gayan Friday, 16 February 2018 18:00

    The real DICTATOR of sri lanka.

    Reply : 25       64

    rama Friday, 16 February 2018 18:00


    Reply : 14       48

    nick Friday, 16 February 2018 18:57

    people who ruined him first Ravi then Malik then Sujeewa then of coz his buddy Mahendran & his lovely son in low class of stealing public money via DM Android App

    Reply : 3       31

    Dutugamunu1 Friday, 16 February 2018 19:05

    let him be prime minister and if majority of UNPers and Other parties are not agreeable to it bring a no confidence motion to oust him

    Reply : 11       7

    Lima Friday, 16 February 2018 19:41


    Reply : 31       18

    Trevor Friday, 16 February 2018 19:45

    We don't want to see your face in Sri Lankan Politics anymore, just get lost, your time is over!

    Reply : 15       31

    Mahesh Friday, 16 February 2018 20:28

    What a shame !!!. If you are still P.M. what is the point of re-structuring U.N.P. ??????????????

    Reply : 11       32

    Derwin Friday, 16 February 2018 21:38

    If you continue as pm there will be no u n p. Again better to continue

    Reply : 8       28

    Ceylon Friday, 16 February 2018 21:48

    Srilanka never had leaders.had only kind hearted fools,mercyless killers and traitorous theives.

    Reply : 14       14

    GH Friday, 16 February 2018 21:54

    Yes, you can continue to hold the power in accordance with the constitution, but you had better leave the office in a gentleman way according to the people's verdict! This very statement was what you had made in 2014 pointing the finger on MR, the former President.

    Reply : 8       25

    samson Friday, 16 February 2018 22:11

    RW you have been for 40 years, I have been for 58 years.No point talking you have killed the party, so get a successor ASAP so that you can stay at home. You have been a very successful failure in building our country.

    Reply : 11       27

    Zak Friday, 16 February 2018 22:25

    You got a job to finish son, don't leave it half way. Your government talking and doing shit. You can be a great PM, leader and politician, or you can be the worst. You have two years only. either you make it or break it, you do or die, it's in your hand.

    Reply : 7       28

    rajitha7 Saturday, 17 February 2018 08:25

    Ranil should become an advisor of UNP and take a more enlightened role giving the leadership to someone else to try.

    Reply : 6       19

    Citizen Saturday, 17 February 2018 08:42

    You are Mahinda's biggest asset.

    Reply : 6       30

    Mihilal Fernando Saturday, 17 February 2018 17:15

    Ranil Wickremasinghe should continue for another two years as the Yahapalanaya Prime Minister of Sri Lanka

    Reply : 4       4

    Sampath Saturday, 17 February 2018 18:34

    He likes UK Westminister parliament system. If so its time for him to step down. This is what politicians in Westminster do when they lose elections.UNP has no chance as long as Mr Wickramasinghe is the leaser.

    Reply : 1       5

    Unchikun Saturday, 17 February 2018 18:45

    He looked like a duck at a shooting galary.

    Reply : 2       6

    John Prescott Saturday, 17 February 2018 18:56

    Sri Lanka must find new leaders to lead the country into the next level. RW is out of touch with the people. MR still put Sri Lanka in the world map. You need strong BUT honest leaders.

    Reply : 0       5

    RR Saturday, 17 February 2018 19:22

    It's time to return to you usual place...the opposition!

    Reply : 2       4

    Pita Kahana Comic Saturday, 17 February 2018 23:13

    Yes,restructure. Appoint "Pitipana" commission.

    Reply : 0       4

    Ceylon Sunday, 18 February 2018 04:34

    Sirisena and you became president and pm for to punish criminals and recover the stolen trllions.both didnt do.thats only the reason for all do it.then no more problems.

    Reply : 0       3

    Ceylon Sunday, 18 February 2018 04:37

    Sirisena and you both afraid to punish criminals.why you got these jobs??.only took these jobs to take salaries and enjoy the life from peoples money.

    Reply : 0       2

    Basil Paranavitane Sunday, 18 February 2018 05:34

    Ranil don't be stupid selfish and minus foresight. If you love your country and your party step down.For positive progress of the countr I can forward workable ideals if requested.Basil

    Reply : 0       1

    Saman Sunday, 18 February 2018 07:12

    Know the KING!

    Reply : 0       1

    Dayawathie Sunday, 18 February 2018 08:22

    I thought RW was the smartest political operator in this island when he pulled that trick to defeat MR to everyone's surprise. Now it looks like that he{RW} is in for the biggest backfiring in his whole life.

    Reply : 1       2

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