Liberal Party of Sri Lanka

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Liberal Party

ලිබරල් පක්ෂය
லிபரல் கட்சி
LeaderKamal Nissanka
Secretary-GeneralKamal Nissanka
FounderChanaka Amaratunga
Founded19 January 1987 (33 years ago) (1987-01-19)
Preceded byCouncil for Liberal Democracy
HeadquartersNo 23, Sri Devi, Amunawattha, Kurunegala,60000
Political positionCentre
National affiliationUnited People's Freedom Alliance
Continental affiliationCouncil of Asian Liberals and Democrats
International affiliationLiberal International
Parliament of Sri Lanka
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Election symbol

The Liberal Party of Sri Lanka (Sinhala: ලිබරල් පක්ෂය Libaral Pakshaya; Tamil: லிபரல் கட்சி, romanized: Liparal Kaṭci) began as a think-tank called the Council for Liberal Democracy, founded in 1981 by the late Chanaka Amaratunga, a longstanding member of the United National Party which was then in government. The CLD broke with the UNP in 1982 over the referendum which postponed parliamentary elections for six years and, after four years of trying to promote liberal thinking in Sri Lanka, in particular with regard to constitutional reforms that would promote devolution along with separation and reduction of powers at the center, Dr Amaratunga and several of his associates established the Liberal Party in February 1987.

Though the Party never established itself as an electoral success, given the need in Sri Lanka for small parties to ally themselves with larger groupings that tend to swamp their individual identity, it has continued to have an impact as a think-tank. It contributed seminally to the manifestoes put forward by Sirimavo Bandaranaike and Gamini Dissanayake as presidential candidates in 1988 and in 1994. In 1996 Dr. Amaratunga died in a car accident, which led to a reduction in party activity since. However his successor Rajiva Wijesinha, contested in the Presidential election of 2000 and came 6th in a field of 15, a success that served to advance the image of the party. Mr. Kamal Nissanka is the current leader of the Liberal Party.

The party is a member of Liberal International and the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats.

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