PMD: Addressing the Special General Convention of the United National Party (UNP), President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized his commitment to bolstering the country’s economy by positioning Sri Lanka as a smart nation.
The President outlined the timeline for upcoming elections in line with the constitutional provisions, detailing that the presidential election is slated for the following year, followed by parliamentary elections. Furthermore, local government elections are expected to transpire in the first half of 2025.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe made these remarks during his address at the Special General Convention of the United National Party held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium in Colombo today (21).
The theme for this year’s UNP Anniversary convention was “Smart Country – 2048.” The vision behind this concept is a vision of an intelligent and prosperous Sri Lanka, where every citizen recognizes their potential, upholds virtuous goals, and embraces diversity while harnessing modern technology and nature to cultivate a nation of adept and resourceful individuals. The “Smart Country” concept envisions the creation of a prosperous nation.
Departing from conventional party politics vying for power, the main objective of this year’s UNP Special Convention was to adopt a nation-centric approach to reorganize the party for this purpose. Party leader President Ranil Wickremesinghe also presented an amended party constitution designed to facilitate this transformation.
A significant amendment allows the United National Party to establish an online presence and engage actively in social media platforms, thus facilitating the digital transformation of the party. The President emphasized the need for the UNP to evolve into a technologically adept and intelligent party, aligning itself with the broader vision of building both a smart nation and a smart party.
Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, leader of the People’s United Front, extended his congratulations to the United National Party Special Convention.
The Sugathadasa Stadium was packed to capacity, with attendees representing various regions of the island, including the North and East. The event was inaugurated with immense pride, featuring the party leader, President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The celebration also featured cultural and artistic elements, underscoring the diversity and richness of Sri Lanka’s heritage.
Minister Manusha Nanayakkara presented President Wickremesinghe with a “Let’s start with me” badge, symbolizing the collective effort needed to construct a smart nation.
During the ceremony, an archived edition of the “Siya Rata” newspaper was presented by its editor, Mrs. Maya Kalubowila, to President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who, in turn, handed it over to the Secretary General of the party.
The President stressed the imperative need to eradicate corruption and emphasized the passage of long-awaited anti-corruption legislation, along with the introduction of multiple ordinances to combat corruption both within the government and political parties. He reiterated the United National Party’s strength in contributing to the nation’s economic development and emphasized the party’s role as a forward-looking entity that will serve the nation’s interests in the future.
Notable speakers at the conference included United National Party President and Member of Parliament Wajira Abeywardena, Deputy Leader of the Party Ruwan Wijewardena, National Organizer Sagala Rathnayaka, Deputy Leader Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Labour and Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara, Minister of Lands and Tourism Haren Fernando, along with General Secretary Palitha Range Bandara and former Minister Ravi Karunanayake.
A multitude of senior officials, United National Party members, former ministers, and religious dignitaries led by the Maha Sangha graced the occasion.