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-- Leading News from Sri Lanka --

* Sri Lanka opposition leader faces further crisis in his party
Friday, February 27, 2009, 16:38 GMT, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 27, Colombo: Sri Lanka Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe is facing another crisis in his party, United National Party as the majority of its parliamentary group is reportedly pressuring him once again to withdraw from the party leadership.

According to reliable sources in the UNP, the parliamentary group which met last night has appealed Ranil Wickremasinghe to withdraw from his post with immediate effect.

It was reported that the 14 MPs out of 28 who participated in this specail parliamentary group have appealed Wickremasinghe to withdraw.

Johnston Fernando, Sajith Premadasa, S.B Dissanayake, Rukman Senanayake, Dayasiri Jayasekara, Earl Gunasekara, Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, and Laxman Senaviratne have blamed Ranil Wickremasinghe over the continuing defeat of the party in the elections.

They have urged the Wickremasinghe to stay in the party as Sonia Gandhi stays in her party in India, but allow them to select a new leader to UNP.

Only Wajira Abeywardena and Renuka Herath had spoken in support of Ranil Wickremasinghe in the meeting, sources said.

However responding to the charges Ranil Wickremasinghe has told the party parliamentary group that he wants few days to take a decision on this issue.

Following the meeting Opposition Leader has held a special discussion at his official house in Cambridge Place, with few members of the party, but they have agreed to avoid from revealing details to media.

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