Majority in favour of new UNP leadership – Mujibur Rahman

By Ashanthi Warunasuriya


The rift in the United National Party (UNP) continued last week with a group of UNP Parliamentarians pushing for a leadership change and refusing to accept the recent party reforms.

UNP Parliamentarian Mujibur Rahman told The Sunday Leader that the Ruwan Wijewardene committee proposals for reforms in the UNP must be implemented in full.

He said that despite several assurances the recent reforms in the UNP fell below expectations.

Excerpts of the interview:


Q: The UNP had recently appointed a committee to propose reforms in the party. What are your views on the new appointments made in the party since then and the allegations that the changes did not meet the expectations of most party members or the public? 

A: The Prime Minister appointed the Ruwan Wijewardene committee to put forward proposals to reform the UNP. The committee had proposed some changes in the party. Most Parliamentarians have put forward their views on the changes. The committee report recommended that UNP Parliamentarians and the Working Committee should get together to appoint posts in the UNP and its leadership. In addition, the committee recommended changes in several sections of the party. The committee also recommended taking measures to strengthen the Muslim and Tamil base as well as the Sinhala voter base in the UNP. The party constitution must be changed to bring in the recommended changes. However, it was suddenly proposed that key positions in the party be changed before April 30 and new appointments were made in the UNP accordingly. The new appointments were made in accordance with the old party constitution. 

Q: But the Prime Minister has assured that the Ruwan Wijewardene committee report will be implemented. Do you have faith in that assurance? 

A: Yes. We have to wait and see. Sometimes, dreams do come true. 

Q: There has been talk of a ‘Royal Group’ in the UNP. Is this of concern to some UNP members? 

A: That allegation has been there over the years. Even today, it is discussed. The UNP leadership must respond to these allegations. 

Q: There is now a push for a change in the UNP leadership. Are you also of the view that a change in the UNP leadership is necessary for the party to go forward? 

A: The majority of UNP members are in favour of a new leadership. But some are of the view that the UNP does not need a leadership change. However, a key election is set to take place in the near future. At this juncture, we must all get together and take a decision on the future of the party. We have only a few months to prepare for the election.

Q: But it seems the UNP has already decided that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will contest the next Presidential election. 

A: The party has not made such a decision. UNP Parliamentarians and the UNP Working Committee have not met to discuss it. We have to take a decision soon.  We must form a UNP Government. We must come into power by 2020. But before all these, we must have a strong plan and vision. We cannot go forward sans them.  I am a Parliamentarian. I do not have any other post in the party. I feel I can do more for the party and the country if I am given a chance. We have done a great deal for the party across the country all these years. I am of the view that the party should get the maximum from us. I think they do not think of our worth at present.

Q: Who do you propose for the leadership if the party decides to change the current leader? 

A: The party’s second in command is its Deputy Leader. New leaders will come to the fore at the right time. 

Q: Recently, a group of 16 Sri Lanka Freedom Party members left the Government. The Government has since faced several issues. Is the Government on the verge of collapse? 

A: The group of 16 had been working as per the agenda of the Joint Opposition (JO). Now they have chosen their side. They opposed decisions being taken by the Government even when they were in the Government. 

Q: With this split, the UNP seems to have received new portfolios in the Government. At the same time even some UNP members who were critical of the party and the leadership have been given Ministerial posts. How do you see this move?

A: I have concerns with regards to this move. Those who blamed the party and its leadership have been given cabinet positions. They have no shame and we also are on the same band wagon now by giving them a cabinet post.

7 Comments for “Majority in favour of new UNP leadership – Mujibur Rahman”

  1. Sangaralingham

    All leaders irrespective who he she May be.honest reliable truthful honest sincere free from evil ideology lot of commonsense well read understand the country from cost to cost reliable responsible has the command and trust from members of the party from all provinces.

  2. Sangaralingham

    Not a dingle party is working for the country it’s people. Most of them are dumb about ethnic religious issues. Not in favour of happiness of the nation by looking backward most are in favour of collecting votes to dit in the parliament for all the perks and titles. Is the common citizen happy. It is the responsibility of media to get a survey of the population. Teachers doctors farmers not happy they told us in their day day to day activity with the public. At the same doctors themselves must upgrade their professional ststure

  3. If UNP wants to win both the general and presidential election RANIL should go. There is no future for UNP as long as RANIL is in power. If RANIL refuses to go then the only option available to UNP members is to go for a ballot and kick him out. This is better for UNP and better for the country as a whole.

  4. Eng.M.V.R.Perera

    Ranil should not go as none of these so call deputy leaders have submitted a plan to revive the economy which is in shambles due to Sirisena’s economic policies,and as for a candidate if there is a Presidential elections there is no better candidate than Ranil as he alone in 2015 August elections obtained 6million votes Mr Mageeb how many thousand votes did you obtain at the 2015 August elections and what are your plans to revive our economy

    • Ch Eng T.V.Kulasekera

      What rubbish M.V Petera Ranil wickremasinghe lost his plot 10 years ago
      he is absolutely no clue in the present climate,he is distroying young Talent
      this old man hid his curruptin quietly with Ajuna mahendran the stinking Bond Saga
      he even exonarated Mahendra Rajapaksa meeting him and the other Moron Sagala Rath nayake In a singapore Hotel,an absolute arse hole
      this fellow is preventing young Sajitha and Naveen Dissanayake from being PM
      he has his gang Rthotalanga Ravi,sagala,akila Kariyawasam the mist ft education minister and Sec of the UNP by Ranil bloody joke

  5. Eng.M.V.R.Perera

    TV kulesekera what are your plans for reviving the economy shattered by the President

  6. Gamarala

    Kick Ranil out and groom Vasantha Senanayake to take over and bring the UNP back to what it used to be during the Senanayake eras.

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