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Sri Lankan state minister claims he was fired for criticising the government

Former Sri Lankan State Minister Susil Premajayantha claimed yesterday that he was fired for his criticism of the government’s fertiliser policy which has led to food prices to soar.

The government has faced significant push back for its draconian ban on chemical fertilisers which over 90% of Sri Lankan farmers were reliant upon. Verite Research, a Colombo-based think tank predicted that a result of the ban there would an expected 85% crop reduction.

The backlash towards this disastrous policy forced the government to repeal it in late October with President Rajapaksa maintain that farmers had “grown accustomed to overusing fertilizer as an easy means of increasing yields”. Despite the government’s reversal farmers are continuing to struggle to cover the high costs of imported fertiliser without help.

Responding to Premajayantha statement, opposition SJB parliamentarian S.M. Marrikar seized the opportunity to criticise the government’s decision as “undemocratic and unfair.”  Marrikar claimed that the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party opposed the right of freedom of speech and encouraged Premajayantha to join their political party.

Premajayantha has since reportedly spoken to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and has left his office today. Premajayantha has close ties to Rajapaksa supporting Sirisena’s decision to appoint him to the position of Prime Minister in 2018 whilst simultaneously sacking then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, causing a constitutional crisis. At the time Premajayantha accused TNA MP MA Sumanthiran of producing the parliamentary disarray which he said, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe directed.

Read more here and here.

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