Defiant Ranil refuses to step down as Prime Minister

A defiant Ranil Wickremesinghe today refused to step down as Prime Minister despite pressure from the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA).

The Prime Minister told reporters at a special media briefing that as far as he is concerned he will continue as the Prime Minister and he feels there is no reason why he should not.

“I will go ahead based on the Constitution,” he said.

He also said that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa spoke to him and asked him if he was going to resign and he replied saying no.

Wickremesinghe also said that the United National Party (UNP) accepts the verdict given by the public at the just concluded Local Government (LG) elections.

The Prime Minister said that action had been taken against the Rajapaksas with regards to corruption yet some sections of the public were impatient and that may have had an impact on the outcome of the local council elections.

He said that while the UNP will undergo reforms the Government will continue and take forward the mandate given at the 2015 Presidential elections.

Wickremesinghe said that the UNP leadership needs new blood and reforms will be implemented in the UNP to prepare the party for the next 20 years.

“You see an emergence of a new leadership group. I came in the 70’s. We feel a transition needs to take place without disruptions. I am discussing that with the leaders of the party,” he said.

Wickremesinghe said that the new leadership of the UNP will play a bigger role in the party.

The Prime Minister also said that a cabinet reshuffle will take place and the matter is being discussed. (Colombo Gazette)