By Yohan Perera and Lahiru Pothmulla
Major changes are expected in the main opposition United National Party (UNP) when its Working Committee meets today after the UNP received a boost with the announcement of the Uva Provincial Council election results.
"I cannot continue as a member of the leadership council against my conscience"
Changes became imminent with the UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake deciding to resign from the Leadership Council for personal reasons.
In his letter of resignation to UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Mr. Attanayake said he was deeply hurt by the behavior of some members in the leadership council during the past few months. He said in his letter that some members of the leadership council had criticized him for his stance with regard to Hambantota District parliamentarian Sajith Premadasa who is expected to be made the Deputy Leader of the Party today.
Mr. Attanayake also accused these members of criticizing him publicly through the media. Therefore, he said he could no longer sit in the leadership council.
“The situation that prevails in the leadership council does not allow me to remain in it and I cannot continue as a member of the leadership council against my conscience,” he said. Mr. Attanayake also thanked Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya and said Mr. Jayasuriya had stood by him always. Mr. Attanayake was an Ex Officio member of the leadership council in his capacity as the UNP General Secretary.
"Mr. Attanayake said he was deeply hurt by the behavior of some members in the leadership council during the past few months"
Party sources said Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya would meet Party National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe prior to the Working Committee meeting to discuss the position of the Leadership Council following Mr. Attanayake’s resignation. According to the party constitution the leadership council’s term lapses in a month’s time. Meanwhile Mr. Premadasa will be appointed as the deputy leader of the party today according to party sources while Moneragala District MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara will be appointed as a Senior Deputy Chairman. In addition the treasurer’s post which had also fallen vacant would also be filled today. Meanwhile the UNP’s chief ministerial candidate Harin Fernando is likely to be appointed to a national level post though it may not take place today.