The United National Party (UNP) politburo today named Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam as the General Secretary of the party while Minister of Plantation Industries Navin Dissanayake was named the UNP National Organizer. Minister Kabir Hashim, the former General Secretary of the party, was named party Chairman.
State Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva was named as the Treasurer of the party while Ruwan Wijewardene was appointed the Deputy General Secretary and State Minister Ajith P. Perera the Trade Union Secretary. Minister Sajith Premadasa will remain as the Deputy Leader while Ravi Karunanayake will continue as Assistant Leader.
Mr. Kariyawasam, who confirmed that he had been named as the new General Secretary of the party, said the other positions will be finalized at the meeting of the working committee today.
Mr. Premadasa said the party leader had nominated the names for the posts while the politburo had expressed its views with regard to the reorganization of the party. He said everything will be finalized today. “I would like to be elected to my post,” he added.
Another politburo member, who did not wish to be named, revealed that some party members had informed Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe that people expected something better. Mr. Wickremesinghe, in response, had suggested a ballot where the working committee and the parliamentary group are given the opportunity of electing office bearers for the party.
Politburo members, who had expressed concern about the people’s aspirations, have then said the parliamentary group should be briefed about these views before the working committee meeting. However, it has been decided to hold the working committee meeting today (26) to obtain its approval for the nominated office bearers.