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* Sri Lanka main opposition mulling major reforms
Mon, Apr 26, 2010, 08:04 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 26, Colombo: Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) is to make some major changes in the party, a opposition parliamentarian indicated today.

Addressing a media briefing at the opposition leader's office, UNP spokesman and Galle District MP Gayantha Karunatileka told reporters on Monday that the ailing party is considering some significant changes.

"Very soon there will be massive changes in the party. All MPs will have major responsibilities," the spokesman said.

He said the changes in the party ladder would be made very soon, possibly this week and those would be finalized in the next working committee meeting.

Since the massive defeat at the April 8 general elections, opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe's leadership has come under severe criticism within the party. The pressure is rising within the party for a change in leadership demanding Wickremasinghe to step down as the party leader.

A party stalwart and a grandson of one of the founders of UNP, Rukman Senanayake resigned recently from his post as assistant leader of the party in protest of the current leadership which failed to provide him with a slot in the National List of parliamentarians.

Since 2001, the party had not won any election held at any level failing even to secure the party's former strongholds.

Wickremasinghe has stubbornly resisted requests to step down and hand over the leadership to other able leaders in the party.

Political analysts in the country say the UNP will not make a come back while Wickremasinghe remains as the leader. The UNP members who see no political future with the party may crossover to the ruling party, they predict.


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