Govt. denies Weerawansa assaulted during Cabinet meeting

by Zacki Jabbar

Amidst rumours that Engineering Services Minister Wimal Weerawansa had been manhandled by Senior Minister for Human Resources D. E. W. Gunasekera, during yesterdays crucial Cabinet meeting to discuss proposed amendments to the 13th Amendment, the government denied such an incident had taken place.

Media Minster Keheliya Rambukwella, when asked at yesterday’s Cabinet press briefing, in Colombo, if Weerawansa had been hit by Gunasekera, replied that it was a ‘very creative story’ and he did not see such a thing taking place.

When pointed out that he may have missed the drama amidst the noise and pushing and shoving, Rambukwella said "No, but there was a very heated and noisy argument, it was like a public meeting place. You, know that there are some vociferous speakers among our ranks, but no one hit Wimal."

Informed sources that a volatile situation had erupted after Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem had questioned Weerawansa why he did not go to the North and East and obtain signatures against the 13th Amendment, since it was those two regions that needed devolution most.

Hakeem had pointed out that Weerawansa, who had set a target  of obtaining 10 million signatures to abolish the 13th Amendment, should first hold his "referendum" in the North and East and thereafter in the South.

The sources said that Minister Gunasekera had endorsed Hakeem’s views, resulting in Weerawansa exhibiting his verbal skills to the hilt.

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