Feb 13, Colombo: The United National Party (UNP), Sri Lanka's majority party in parliament, has decided to continue the unity government for the remainder of its term without any changes and the ministers of its coalition partner, Sri Lanka Freedom party (SLFP), can decide on their own whether to stay with the government or not.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe has conveyed his party's decision to President Maithripala Sirisena at a special discussion held at the President's Residence this evening between the President and the Prime Minister along with the UNP ministers.
At the meeting, a committee has been formed to submit reform proposals in three days to finalize future course of the national government, Minister Mano Ganesan said. The Committee will consist of members from both parties.
A group of UNP Backbench MPs who have earlier insisted on forming a UNP government in the wake of party's dismal result at the local government polls, has agreed with the Prime Minister and party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to continue with the coalition government, local media reports said.
The UNP junior MPs held a special discussion with the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees in Colombo this morning (13). UNP Ministers, Deputy Ministers and State Ministers were also present at the meeting.
Following the meeting the UNP MPs have said that they have agreed to continue with the present government and SLFP MPs could leave the government if they wish.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, UNP Chairman Minister Malik Samarawickrema said that a decision was taken at the meeting to continue the coalition government. He said any party can join the government if they wish.
Rejecting the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa's and his party's call to dissolve the parliament, Minister Samarawickrema said there is no need for a change in government as there is another two years for the next parliamentary election.
He said the UNP is prepared to join hands with any political party willing to support the continuation of the government and that even the UPFA led by the SLFP can also work together with the government.