Colombo, August 8 (newsin.asia): There is speculation that the cabinet Minister for Special Assignments and former Defense and Justice Minister, Tilak Marapana, will succeed Karunanayake as Foreign Minister if the latter vacates his post after alleged involvement in the Central Bank bond scam when he was Finance Minister in 2015.
While Ceylon Today has categorically said that Kaunanayake will resign and Marapana will be the next Foreign Minister, informed sources told newsin.asia that this cannot be ruled out.
A National List UNP MP (non-elected but nominated), Marapana is close to Prime Minister Wickremesinghe. As per the understanding between the UNP and SLFP-Sirisena, foreign affairs is to be handled by the UNP. Sources say that President Sirisena will not be averse to Marapana’s appointment as he is an experienced and qualified man, a former Attorney General, and a nationalist to boot.
Marapana’s political stature went up after he resigned from the post of Justice Minister in 2015 when it was pointed out that he had, as a lawyer, appeared for the security company Avant Garde which was being investigated for alleged shady dealings.
Debate on Hambantota Port Pact
Parliament is yet to fix a debate on the controversial July 29 Concessional Agreement on the Hambantota harbor between the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and the China Merchant Port Holdings Cp., (CMport).
Ports Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe had told the media on July 29, that as per President Sirisena’s wish, parliament would discuss the agreement and suggest changes in the deal if necessary on August 8.
Informed sources said that a date for the debate will be fixed after the cabinet discusses the matter on Wednesday.
(The featured picture above is that of Tilak Marapana)