Speaking at a rally in Rambukkana yesterday the UNP leader said the list of names of the 56 persons who were expelled from the United National Party will be made public today.
Wickremesinghe said in order to protect the party, disciplinary investigations were launched against those who left the party and Provincial Councillors who are acting against the UNP.
The former Prime Minister said investigations determined that party regulations have been violated and the membership of the individuals in question must be revoked.
Therefore, he noted that the UNP Working Committee convened today and decided to expel 54 MPs and Provincial Councillors adding that letters have been sent to all individuals in question and their names will be publicised.
Former Premier Wickremesinghe added further investigations are underway, and six groups have been assigned to probe the matter.
According to their determinations the Working Committee will meet again and reach a decision. Wickremesinghe noted that the decision wasn’t taken lightly, and was considered very carefully.
The UNP leader added he has done his utmost to protect the United National Party.
Ranil Wickremesinghe said at the time Sajith Premadasa was Presidential candidate adding that the reason for the UNP defeat was that they lacked around 2.5 million votes of the Sinhala population.
The UNP leader said that questioned as to why the public did not vote for that party, and noted that they were able to minimise losses as they campaigned in the North and East.
He claimed that Sajith Premadasa was invited to be the Prime Ministerial candidate for the General Election and was granted the post of the Leader of the Opposition in order to train him.
However, Wickremesinghe said one condition was for Premadasa to contest from the UNP. The UNP leader added that the party has contested every election since 1947.
The Former Prime Minister added he does not intend on remaining as the leader of the UNP, claiming that the decision to take disciplinary action against several members was a difficult task.
He added if an individual leaves the UNP they are not true UNPers, and noted that those who leave the party should not claim they are true UNPers.
Wickremesinghe said the UNP has a plan to face the COVID-19 crisis.
(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by newsradio.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)