UNP National Organiser Navin Dissanayake says that the expectation of all United National Party (UNP) supporters is a combination of himself and Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa for the upcoming elections.
Speaking during an event in Nuwara-Eliya, the minister said that in 1976 former President the late J.R. Jayawardena summoned all the UNP Organisers to party headquarters, Sirikotha, and asked them name the 10 leaders they prefer the most.
He said that as a result of this Sajith’s father the late Ranasinghe Premadasa received 118 votes as the Prime Minister and that his father Gamini Dissanayake came in second with 110 votes. Dissanayake said that the then Cabinet of Ministers was formed from this combination.
He said that the party held another secret ballot in 1994 and that Gamini Dissanayake defeated incumbent party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe by just 2 votes in that vote.
He said this is how the United National Party is made and that the party’s deputy leader was appointed to that position based on the demand he has from the party. Dissanayake said that even he was given the position of National Organiser after a vote was taken.
The minister further said that due to the assassination of former President R. Premadasa in 1993 and Gamini Dissanayake the following year, both he and Sajith Premadasa did not have fathers to place the “Satakaya” on their shoulders.
Navin Dissanayake said that he obtained his position by putting in the hard work and effort and also that both Sajith and himself have managed to obtain certain posts they hold now due to the power of the people’s votes.
He said that even now there are those who seek to cut them down within the party and that with the help of the country’s people both he and Sajith continue to carry out their work.
He said that it was the country’s misfortune that Ranasinghe Premadasa and Gamini Dissanayake were not able to work together and that had that happened the country would already be developed like Singapore.
However, certain individuals broke that bond, he said, while adding that he will pledge before the people to work together with Sajith Premadasa.