Colombo, February 26 (newsin.asia): Sri Lankan State Minister for Irrigation, Palitha Range Bandara, said here on Monday, that several United National Party (UNP) Members of Parliament, including himself, are ready to bring a Motion of No-Confidence against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
“We need to make a complete change in the United National Party, starting with the leadership. Without doing that this party cannot go forward, no matter what kind of Cabinet reshuffle is carried out,” he said.
He urged the party’s leadership to listen to the voice of the people who are supporting the UNP.
“This is not the voice of Anamaduwa or Puttalam (his district), it is the voice of the entire country.”
The UNP’s Puttalam District MP also urged UNP ministers and parliamentarians not to be selfish, and to stop thinking only about themselves but think only about the party and its founding leaders.
He claimed that the UNP is continuing to become a ‘hollow party’ and that this should not be allowed.
Range Bandara said that if they are unable to change the leadership of the UNP, he would unapologetically bring forth a Motion of No-Confidence against Wickremesinghe very soon.
“We will have to bring that no-confidence motion against the individual in whom the country has no confidence.”
“Several UNP MPs area prepared to take the initiative to bring that no-confidence motion,” he claimed.
The State Minister of Irrigation has been a vocal critic of the present UNP leadership in the wake of the party’s defeat at the recent Local Government election when it captured only 41 of the 340 local councils up for grabs.
He had previously complained of getting step-motherly treatment from the leadership of the UNP despite his hard work. He had also been a target of violence perpetrated by his rivals within the party.
After the dismal defeat which the UNP suffered in the local bodies elections on February 10, there was a strong call from UNP members to change the leader who is also Prime Minister.
But Wickremesinghe doused the fire of revolt saying that he will groom the next generation to lead the party. He also promised a reshuffle of the Council of Ministers.
But the reshuffle which took place on Sunday, was minor with virtually no new blood. On top of it all, Wickremesinghe himself assumed the Law and Order Ministry when it was run previously by a trusted confidante Sagala Ratnayake. People had no hope of a change coming with this kind of “change”.
According to political observers, Palitha Range Bandara would not have made a statement about a No Confidence Motion without some signs of support from a significant section of the UNP in parliament and the party; from the alliance partner, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the Joint Opposition led by Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The SLFP (barring its leader and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena) and the Joint Opposition have also been seeking the ouster of Wickremesinghe from the Premiership.
The SLFP and the Joint Opposition had wanted Transport Minister Nimal Sripala de Silva to be the Premier. At one stage President Sirisena put up Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, but this did not get support from any section.
(The featured image at the top shows the Sri Lankan State Minister of Irrigation on the right with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in the middle at an election meeting in Puttalam district)