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(BLOOMBERG) - Sri Lanka is seeking financial support from the International Monetary Fund, reversing the government’s earlier resistance as efforts to bolster its foreign exchange reserves and manage looming debt payments have been complicated by the war in Ukraine.

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The United National Party (UNP) has registered around 75,000 members through its membership drive for the year 2022, sources at 'Sirikotha' said.

The Party's 2022 membership drive in the Colombo District was held over the weekend under the auspices of former Prime Minister and Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Party stalwarts including Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Palitha Range Bandara and Wajira Abeywardena also participated. The membership drive that was held on March 12 and 13 was spearheaded by UNP National Organiser Sagala Ratnayaka.

 

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Meanwhile, the Party's Colombo District Manager, Lasantha Gunawardena said that around 75,000 membership tickets had been obtained over the two day period. This is a significant boost for the UNP considering the Party was reduced to less than 31,000 votes in the Colombo District at the 2020 General-Election.

The message of the membership drive was for all members of the public to join the UNP and assist them in crafting a new National Policy that would help guide the country forward for the next 15 years.

 

Former PM calls for national consensus

 

While taking part in a UNP membership promotion programme, former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said all parties that represent Parliament must agree on an ironclad economic framework to help the country out of its present crisis.

Dismissing claims of a national government, the former Prime Minister said that what is needed is a national consensus on how to overcome these crises.

"It’s not a national government that’s needed. There’s no point of one, and people will say we’re just dividing up the ministerial portfolios among ourselves. What’s needed here is a national consensus,” he said.

"The members of the opposition can remain in the opposition while those representing the government can remain there. However, they must all arrive at a national consensus on solving this problem – an agreement that’s valid not just for one year but for 15 or 20 years,” he added.

 

 

Satyagraha on March 25

 

Speaking to media, Assistant Leader Akila Viraj Kariyawasam explained that the membership drive was only the first step of the UNP regaining lost ground.

He also stated that all members of the UNP, along with the rest of the public, are invited to join in a Satyagraha which is scheduled for the 25th of March.

 

 

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