Govt. Faces Fresh Crisis: Ravi Refuses To Resign: President-PM Now Left With The Option Of Expelling Foreign Minister

A fresh crisis has surfaced with Finance Minister Ravi Karunayake not showing any inclination to resign from his ministerial portfolio.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe held a meeting with Karunanayake, on Saturday, to discuss the possibility of his resignation. Wickremesinghe will soon hold a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena on the same matter.

At the discussion, the Prime Minister had pointed out  the testimony revealing that Arjuna Aloysius, the former CEO of Perpetual Treasuries had paid a lease amount of close to 8.7 million on behalf of the family of the then finance minister Ravi Karunanayake, for a fifth-floor super luxury condominium apartment at the Monarch residencies, had caused embarrassment to the government.

The Prime Minister had requested Karunanayake to resign from his Cabinet post temporarily, until the end of the ongoing investigations.

Karunanayake, however, had now shown any inclination to resign, claiming that he did not commit any wrongdoing.

"As a result, the issue involving Karunanayake's resignation is turning out to be a fresh political crisis," a senior government spokesman told Asian Mirror.

"If he doesn't resign the President and the Prime Minister will be forced to expel him from the Cabinet," he added.

Sources close to the President said the Minister would be given a few more days to tender his resignation.

They said the President would dismiss him from the Cabinet, if he failed to step down.

"Expelling a senior member of the UNP from the Cabinet will be a tough call. But, the Prime Minister has already given the indication to the President that the former will not go out of his way to protect Karunanayake," an informed source close to the President, who wished to remain anonymous, explained.




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