Another Roadblock Cleared For Basil’s Appointment To Cabinet: Colombo HC Orders To Lift Travel Ban

November 23, 2020

The Colombo High Court has ordered to lift the travel ban on former Minister and SLPP National Organizer Basil Rajapaksa.

The travel ban was imposed on Rajapaksa in relation to the case over allegedly printing five million almanacs with the image of then President Mahinda Rajapaksa, at a cost of Rs. 29.4 million of funds belonging to the Divi Neguma Department, to be used as election propaganda material, during the January 2015 Presidential Election.

The lifting of Basil Rajapaksa comes ahead of his possible appointment as a national list MP of the SLPP and a Cabinet Minister of the Gotabhaya Rajapaksa government.

The Gazette notification issued by President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa last night announcing two new Cabinet Ministries was a strong indication of Basil Rajapaksa’s inclusion in the Cabinet. The two new ministries are the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Technology.

Rear Admiral (retd) Sarath Weerasekera, a staunch ally of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and the current State Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils, is tipped to be the Minister of Public Security overlooking the Police.

Basil Rajapaksa will be entrusted with the task of steering the economy, which is currently facing a surfeit of challenges in the face of a raging pandemic.

However, the timeline of the Cabinet reshuffle has not been announced yet. Many speculate that the Cabinet reshuffle will happen following Basil Rajapaksa’s appointment as a national list MP of the party.

A group of SLPP MPs handed over a letter to Basil Rajapaksa last week requesting him to enter Parliament soon and guide the government in its economic activities.

MPs Sampath Athukorala, Pradeep Uduhoda, Angajan Ramanathan, Cader Masthan, Dr. Upul Galappatti, Ashok Priyantha, Sanjeewa Edirimanne, Sahan Pradeep, Akila Ellawala, Nalaka Bandara Kottegoda, Amarakeerthi Athukorala, Wasantha Yapa Bandara, W.D. Weerasinghe, H. Nandasena, Kumarasiri Ratnayake, Sudarshana Denipitiya, Rajika Wickremesinghe and Nipuna Ranawaka signed the letter.

However, there are strong undercurrents within the ruling party against Basil Rajapaksa’s appointment as a lawmaker. Some, including Cabinet minister Wimal Weerawansa have indicated their displeasure over Basil Rajapaksa’s appointment on the grounds that the latter is a dual-citizen of Sri Lanka and the United States.

© 2019 Asian Mirror (pvt) Ltd