Opposition slams power concentration on Rajapaksas

Saturday, 22 August 2020 00:08 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • SJB MP alleges 126 of 434 Govt. entities under purview of Rajapaksa family
  • Says President, three Rajapaksas in Cabinet, one State Minister among those who have control over important Govt. bodies 

By Chandani Kirinde 

A total of 126 departments, boards, authorities and statutory bodies or 29% of all such bodies come under the purview of the ministries headed by the members of the Rajapaksa family, Galle District SJB MP Manusha Nanayakkara told Parliament yesterday.

This is out of the total of 434 departments, boards, authorities and statutory bodies in the country, Nanayakkara disclosed while participating in the debate on the Policy Statement of the Government presented to the House on Thursday. “The President and Prime Minister are from the same family. There are two Cabinet Ministers from that family – Chamal and Namal Rajapaksa. Shasheendra Rajapaksa is a State Minister. Chairman of the District Develop-ment Council is Nipuna Ranawaka. 

“Prime Minister has three cabinet portfolios – Buddha Sasana, Finance and Housing and Urban Development. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has 23 institutions.

Prime Minister has 49 under the Finance Ministry, 11 under the Buddha Sasana and six under the Urban Development Ministry. He has 66 institutions under him. Namal Rajapaksa has seven. Sasheendra has six,” he said.

The SJB MP added that in addition, seven other institutions including BOI, Telecom, Telecommunications and Regulations are under the COVID-19 task force under Basil Rajapaksa. “There is one Shipping Industry State Minister and he does not have a single institution under him because he is not a member of Rajapaksa family,” Nanayakkara charged.  

He said that there were also questions over the President holding certain portfolios which are not permitted under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

He said the “sahodara samagama” was back in force and all power is now concentrated in one family.

Govt. Policy Statement gets Parliament approval 

The Statement of Government Policy was approved by the House last evening without a vote.

The Motion proposing the debate was moved by Matara District SLPP MP Nipuna Ranawaka. Labour Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva wound up the debate.

Several Government and Opposition MPs took part in the debate which was held from 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.

Rs. 1.6 t VOA to be presented to House next week 

  • Resolution will be presented to House next Thursday
  • Two-day debate next Thursday and Friday

The Government will present a Rs. 1.6 trillion Vote On Account (VOA) to Parliament next week to draw money from the Consolidated Fund for State expenditure for the next four months of the year.

A Resolution to draw the funds was to be presented to Parliament yesterday but it was delayed till next Thursday when the House will next week.

It will be taken up for debate the same day in keeping with a decision taken at the Party Leaders meeting held on Thursday to hold a two-day debate on 27 and 28 August.

The Cabinet at its inaugural meeting last Wednesday had approved the VOA.

The Government is expected to present its Budget for 2021 to Parliament in December.