Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday communicated to President Maithripala Sirisena his party’s decision to expel Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe from his post, it is learnt.
Mr. Rajapakshe drew criticism from his party over the allegation that he was deliberately delaying the institution of legal action against those accused of corruption and frauds during the previous regime.
However, the Minister denied it saying he could not interfere with the independent functions of judiciary.
The United National Party (UNP)’s Working Committee took him to task on August 17 in this regard. He was given time till yesterday to explain his position to the party. At the party’s parliamentary group meeting, it is learnt that State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe inquired whether Mr. Rajapakshe had responded to the allegations.
It transpired at the meeting that he had not done so. Accordingly, the UNP decided that Mr. Rajapakshe should step down or be removed from office.
Afterwards, the Prime Minister called on the President to notify the party’s decision. Constitutionally, the President has the authority to remove a Cabinet Minister. (Kelum Bandara)