Sept 30, Colombo: Sri Lanka main opposition United National Party (UNP) says a leader alone cannot make the party wins at elections and the party leader Ranil Wickremasinghe cannot be blamed for the defeats since it's a collective failure of the party.
Defending the party leader against the public outcry following the humiliating loss of yet another election, General Secretary of the party MP Tissa Attanayake said today Wickremasinghe will not resign from the leadership as speculated by some media reports.
"Leader alone cannot make the party win. It should be done collectively," Attanayake said addressing a media briefing in Rajagiriya today.
Attanayake commented that future of the UNP has become the main subject for media lately and the party leader is discussing different ideas proposed by several groups to reorganize the party.
He said the Working Committee at its meeting expects to discuss plans for organizing party activities to prepare for future elections with the MPs, party officials and all the factions of the UNP.
Attanayake said the party hopes to appoint opposition leaders to the Central and North Western Provincial Councils when the Working Committee of the UNP meets on October 7.
He stressed that media reports on the future directions of the beleaguered party are only speculations and not official statements of the party.
Responding to the report that a foot walk was organized by a group of party stalwarts to protest the leadership of Wickremasinghe and call for his resignation as leader, Attanayake said the walk is organized by expelled members of the party and no one in the UNP will be participating in it.
He said the party loyalists will not allow such attempts to destroy the party.
Attanayake dispelled the rumors that another UNP strongman Gayantha Karunathilaka is contemplating to cross over to the government.
Speaking of a proposal brought by the Galle district MP Mangala Samaraweera to nominate the former deputy leader Sajith Premadasa as a chief ministerial candidate from the party for the Southern Province, the General Secretary said it was not the party's official stance.
However, he said those who can show that they are able to win have the opportunity to show their ability and the UNP will support those party members.
Attanayake explained that Premadasa has refused the proposal and he has the right to do so as well as the party executive committee of Matara district.
He said a chief ministerial post in not a low level post and pointed out that the former President Chandrika Kumaranatunga entered the politics as the Chief Minister of the Western Province. He said she ended her political career as the president and she didn't hesitate the decision to contest for a chief minister post.