Sri Lankan main opposition pledges reform

19:52, April 26, 2010      

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Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) is to undergo major reform, party spokesman Gayantha Karunatillake told reporters here on Monday.

"There will be massive reform in the party very soon. All MPs will be assigned major responsibilities," Karunatilleke said.

Since this month's defeat in the parliamentary election an internal struggle for serious party reforms have surfaced.

The UNP suffered its worst defeat in the electoral history by recording under 30 percent of votes in the April 8 election.

The UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is facing pressure to step down.

The party has lost at least five major elections under Wickremesinghe's leadership. He has resisted many calls to step down after each defeat.

The party has suffered massive defections to the ruling party, the United People's Freedom Alliance, now led by the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa after every major election.

Wickremesinghe was appointed as the UNP leader in Nov. 1994. He was prime minister of Sri Lanka twice, from May 7, 1993 to Aug. 19, 1994 and from Dec. 9, 2001 to April 6, 2004.

The UNP was founded on Sept. 1946 by Don Stephen Senanayake, who became the first prime minister as Ceylon became a dominion in 1948.

Source: Xinhua


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