Sri Lanka’s UNP hopes for ‘complete restructuring’

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s United National Party will go for a complete re-structuring with many proposals already on the table including to reform its constitution, representatives said amid scepticism that it may be yet another leadership ploy to head of criticism.

A meeting of elected members of the party will be held on April 08 and April 09 to hammer out a new structure, State Minister Harsha de Silva told reporters at the party headquarters in Colombo.

"The UNP is a democratic party, and is not family institution where uncles, brothers, sons and wives’ family members call the shots," he said.

Parliamentarian Hector Bethmage said proposals from two committees will be taken up for discussion.

If the new structure cannot be agreed on the first day, it will continue on to the second day.

UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had in the past sidestepped attempts to reform the party after changing the constitution and stuffing its working committee with his nominees, critics have said.

The constitution had also been changed to make it difficult to challenge the leader, they have said.

Questioned by reporters whether this latest re-structuring will be a ploy to head off criticism of bad leadership decisions, de Silva insisted the reforms would be genuine.

"This is the first time the phrase ‘complete’ (poorna) reform is being used," De Silva said.

Bethmage said there was wide agreement that changes needed to be made and proposals were also made to change the constitution of the party. (Colombo/Mar04/2018)





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