UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in a statement said today that he has assigned Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya to unite the party as it is the majority view of the party.
However, Mr. Wickremesighe stopped short of stating whether he would step down from the leadership or not.
A special communiqué issued by the party yesterday said Mr. Wickremesighe mentioned this when he met the central committee members of the UNP UK branch in London today.
Mr. Wickremesighe had further said Mr. Jayasuriya had informed him of his meeting with some members of the party.
Meanwhile UNP Badulla District MP Harin Fernando told a news conference that Mr. Wickremesighe would meet Mr. Jayasuriya when he returns to the country on August 4 to discuss the measures that should be taken to unite the party and convert it into a winning force.
Mr. Fernando expressed hope that Mr. Jayasuriya would play a successful role in uniting the party. “I am confident that he will bring Mr. Wickremesighe, Sajith Premadasa and others together,” he pointed out.
He said he was deeply frustrated with the divisions in the party in the recent past and all should come together in fighting the government which is the common enemy.
The UNP MP said different factions within the party should have discussed the matters together without criticizing each other publicly. “Groups within the party should not hold press conferences here and there,” he said pointing out that matters should be discussed privately first before holding a press conferences.
Mr. Fernando also pointed out that party should always make use of Mr. Wickremesighe who is knowledgeable. “Key factor is the unity within the party,” he said.