The Official Website of the United National Party of Sri Lanka, Australia Branch...

About

ABOUT US

The United National Party, often abbreviated as UNP (Sinhalese: එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂය, pronounced Eksath Jathika Pakshaya, Tamil: கர்ப்பிணி தாயின் கட்சி), is a political party in Sri Lanka. It currently is the main ruling party in the government of Sri Lanka and is headed by Ranil Wickremesinghe. The UNP is considered to have right-leaning, pro-capitalist, and liberal conservative policies.

At the last legislative elections in Sri Lanka, held on 2 April 2004, the UNP was the leading member of the coalition United National Front, which won 37.8% of the popular vote and 82 out of 225 seats in Parliament. It came in second to the United People’s Freedom Alliance, a left-leaning coalition, which won 45.60% of the vote. The Front previously held a majority in parliament from December 2001 until April 2004, when it had 109 seats, with Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister. The UNP had previously been the governing party or in the governing coalition from 1947 to 1956, from 1965 to 1970 and from 1977 to 1994. In total, the UNP governed Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) for 33 of 57 years of its independent history. The UNP also had control of the executive presidency from the presidency’s formation in 1978 to 1994.

The UNP is a conservative party to the right of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, favouring a more neo-liberal market-oriented economy. The UNP is also member of the International Democrat Union.

"UNP and twelve other opposition parties in the Parliament of Sri Lanka, signed an Opposition Alliance 3 November 2009 in the Sri Lankan Parliament Building."

The UNP began its unbroken 17-year rule with pogroms, first against leftists and, within a month, against the Tamil minority. There was widespread victimisation of state employees.

Biography

The UNP was founded on 6 September 1946 by amalgamating three right-leaning pro-dominion parties from the majority Sinhalese community and minority Tamil and Muslim communities. It was founded by Don Stephen Senanayake, who was in the forefront in the struggle for independence from the United Kingdom, having resigned from the Ceylon National Congress because he disagreed with its revised aim of ‘the achieving of freedom’ from the British Empire.[2] The UNP represented the business community and the landed gentry. However, Senanayake also adopted populist policies that made the party accepted in the grassroots level.

The UNP campaigned in the 1947 general election on a platform of dominion under the United Kingdom and protecting the traditional way of life and Buddhism, the religion followed by the majority of the people, from alleged communist threats from the left-wing opposition parties (the Lanka Sama Samaja Party and the Communist Party of Ceylon). The UNP failed to win a working majority and cobbled together a coalition with Sinhalese and Tamil elements. Ceylon became a dominion in 1948, with D.S. Senanayake as the first prime minister. He followed a pro-West, anti-Communist foreign policy much to