Cabinet discusses delay in action against Rajapaksas

No-faith motion against Wijeyadasa signed by 70 UNP MPs

By Sirimantha Ratnasekera and

Priyadarshana Liyanage

The Cabinet of ministers, at its meeting chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday, had taken up what some members described as inordinate delay in taking action against the Rajapaksa family and ministers of the previous government.

Political sources said that several ministers had strongly criticised the delay and veteran UNPer Gamini Jayawickrema Perera had stressed the need to handle the cases through the existing court system if the Constitution didn’t permit the setting up of a special court to hear high profile corruption and criminal cases.

Sources said that the majority of ministers including Tilak Marapana, Patali Champika Ranawaka and Sagala Ratnayake supported that view.

In response to criticism in respect of the Attorney General Department not pursuing cases properly, Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, insisted that he couldn’t influence the judiciary.

Some members pointed out that cases filed by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) couldn’t be considered high profile.

Meanwhile, sources said that 70 MPs had signed a no-faith motion against Minister Rajapakse and it would be submitted to the UNP Working Committee meeting tomorrow (Aug 17). The UNP MPs Rajapaksa to either give up justice portfolio or withdraw recent statement critical of Sri-Lanka China leasing agreement on the port of Hambantota.

Sources said that Minister Rajapakse had violated the principle of collectivel responsibility of the Cabinet by publicly criticing the agreement after having endorsed it at the cabinet.

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