Aug 20, Colombo: The leader of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) is to immediately appoint the party senior Sajith Premadasa as the deputy leader and entrust him with the operations of the Uva provincial council election, a local media report said.
According to a report in Sri Lanka Mirror, the UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe intends to appoint Premadasa to spearhead the campaign in Moneragala district while Chairman of UNP Leadership Council Karu Jayasuriya will be assigned to supervise election activities in Badulla district.
Reportedly UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake and former UNP chairman Malik Samarawickrema had largely backed the appointment of Premadasa as the deputy leader once again and Jayasuriya also has supported the decision.
Sources close to the party said that the UNP Leader will make a proposal to the party' Working Committee to appoint Premadasa as deputy leader in a bid to unite the party as a formidable force against the Rajapaksa government before the Uva Provincial Council elections and there will be no opposition to it.
The Working Committee is expected to meet soon to appoint Premadasa to the deputy leader post and decide on the powers to be vested upon him.
The report also said that several government MPs and Ministers, who are currently engaged in discussions with the Opposition Leader, have urged Wickremasinghe to demonstrate the unity of UNP by reintroducing Sajith Premadasa to active politics in the party.
The appointment of Premadasa to the post to unite the party is expected to revive the UNP which sees the Uva PC election as a turning point to rally the support of the public to defeat the current Rajapaksa administration.
Speaking at a recent meeting, Wickremasinghe called on the people in the Uva Province to strengthen the UNP and fire the first shot at defeating the President Mahinda Rajapaksa's rule.