Tamil Diplomat

Ranil under pressure to sack three ministers

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was under intense pressure from his parliamentary group to sack three ministers implicated in a cover up of the Avant Garde arms scandal.

At a stormy meeting of government MPs at Temple Trees, lawmakers called for stern action against Law and Order Minister Tilak Marapana, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and Home Minister Vajira Abeywardena.

Official sources said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe appeared stunned by the parliamentary group’s opposition to the ministerial trio’s stand on the Avant Garde issue, a key political plank of the UNP-led government.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told reporters today that President Maithripala Sirisena promised a special cabinet meeting on Monday at 10.00 a.m. to address the brewing crisis in the administration.

He striongly hinted that the trio will have their portfolios trimmed.

“Lets see, by Monday something will happen,” Senaratne said when pressed on if he wanted the trio to resign.

Marapana at yesterday’s cabinet meeting defended his action saying he was not a politician and was taking a strictly legal position as attorney of the Avant Garde company.

Senaratne told reporters in Colombo today that Prime Minister  Ranil Wickremesinghe had placed him in charge of the police with a specific order not to interfere with police investigations into Avant Garde.

Senaratne said Minister Wijeyada Rajapakshe’s claim that he stopped the arrest of former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa amounted to an interference in the judicial.  (Economynext)