President Maithripala Sirisena has approved the removal of Wijeyadasa Rajapakse from his ministerial portfolios as per the request made by the United National Party (UNP). The UNP Working Committee yesterday made a collective decision that Minister of Justice and Buddha Sasana Wijeyadasa Rajapakse should be removed from all his ministerial portfolios.
The party leadership therefore had requested the President to remove him from his ministerial portfolios, in light of him criticizing government policies.
The President’s Media Division announced today that the President has approved the request and that the decision has been conveyed to the UNP and Wijeyadasa Rajapakse.
Certain parliamentarians and ministers of the government, mostly those representing the UNP, had called for Rajapakse’s resignation and threatened to bring a no-confidence motion if he failed to do so after the latter had openly criticized the Hambantota port agreement while also accusing him of stalling the initiation of legal proceedings against politicians of the former government.
On August 17, the UNP parliamentary group approved a proposal to bring a no-confidence motion against the minister stating that he had failed to act in accordance with his ministerial portfolio.
The Minister of Justice was reportedly given a grace period till August 21 to dismiss the accusation, however he had failed to respond to the request made by the UNP Working Committee before the deadline.
Hence, the party leadership decided to write to the President requesting his removal from the ministerial portfolios held by him.
Rajapakshe’s Media Secretary, speaking to Ada Derana earlier today, stated that the Minister of Justice and Buddha Sasana would not resign from his ministerial portfolio until a decision was made by the President.