Sri Lanka: Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe and MP Keheliya Rambukwella also argued that in 2015 when Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the Prime Minister, he did not have the trust of the majority in Parliament.”He came to power with the backing of 41 members. We at the time had 161 members. No one questioned his appointment, everyone believed it.”
MP Rambukwella added that even after August 2015, the Prime Minister still failed to retain the majority.
“We believe that at least 70 percent of the population stands with our decision to form the new government and that the appointment of a new Prime Minister should be based on who yields the most trust within parliament.
“No where in the Constitution does it say ‘majority rule’,” added Rambukwella.
Minister Samarasinghe and MP Rambukwella called on the media to refrain from demeaning a political decision taken by Vadivel Suresh, a UNP MP to join forces with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
“How do you know why he had met Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa?, Asked Minister Samarasinghe.
“Do not demean his political decision to meet leaders of either party. It is purely his prerogative,” he said.
Deputy Minister Vadivel Suresh had told the media that he met the newly appointed Prime Minister as a matter of courtesy.
Photos of the Minister meeting both leaders went viral on social media suggesting that the MP was bought over by the new government.
“That is a very shallow decision and thinking on your part,” Minister Samarasinghe rebutted.
One of the first decisions taken by the new Cabinet was to revoke a decision taken by former Minister of Mass Media and Finance to appoint a Central Bank Deputy Governor to the position of Commissioner General of the Inland Revenue Department.
“The President said that he was not in agreement with the decision taken by the former Minister of Finance and that within the next week, a suitable person would be nominated and selected for the position of the Commissioner General of the IRD,” Minister Samarasinghe said.
In other Cabinet decisions, CWC MP Arumugam Thondaman who was appointed as the Minister of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development had sought approval of the Cabinet to establish a Tamil school within the Wattala Pradeshiya Sabha, which the Cabinet confirmed.
It was also decided that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa would meet with the Elections Commissioner on the upcoming Provincial Council elections.
“It was proposed by the Minister of Provincial Councils and Local government Faiszer Musthapha that the upcoming elections be looked at and to decide upon which system the polls should be held.
The Elections Commission will further discuss this matter with the new Prime Minister.