Colombo, July 1 (Daily Mirror) – A major rift has erupted within the government following reports that Basil Rajapaksa will take oaths as an MP early next month and will thereafter receive a ministerial portfolio, the Daily Mirror learns.
Some government coalition party members have objected to the move, citing Rajapaksa’s dual citizenship as a reason, and have voiced their disapproval to the President and Prime Minister.
Sources said reports had surfaced that Rajapaksa was likely to be appointed as the Minister of Economic Development, a portfolio newly created for him and the one he held in the previous Rajapaksa government.
Although initially there were reports that he would also take over as the Finance Minister, this has been shot down as this portfolio is likely to be retained by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. However, certain institutions which come under the purview of the Finance Ministry are likely to be transferred under the new portfolio. While Basil was set to receive his Cabinet portfolio early next month after he takes oath as an MP, the move may be delayed due to the strong objections raised by some of the party members.
Rajapaksa returned back to Sri Lanka last week after being in the US for a little over a month. He is currently the Head of the Economic Revival and Poverty Eradication Presidential Task Force. (Jamila Husain)