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‘Stop being unethical!’ – President Rajapaksa urges his cabinet to stop criticising the government

Faced with increasing dissent within his own cabinet and party, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has chastised ministers for being “unethical” and criticising the government to further their own personal agendas.

The statement follows claims from State Minister Susil Premajayantha that he was fired for criticising the government’s disastrous agricultural policies which has seen soaring food prices and people forced to ration food. In late October the government reversed its policy but Rajapaksa maintained a belief in his policy claiming that farmers had “grown accustomed to overusing fertilizer as an easy means of increasing yields”.

In his statement Rajapaksa claimed that the cabinet must maintain discipline amongst its members and that public criticism was not the answer.

The President’s statement was reportedly also an indirect message to ministers who opposed the Yugadanavi Power Plant deal, which has seen the construction of a large oil-fired power station in Sri Lanka located in Kerawalapitiya in the Western province. The agreement was secured with the US company, New Fortress Energy (NFE) and has seen strong protests from trade unions in Sri Lanka. There has also been noted criticism form government ministers, Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila and Vasudeva Nanayakkara.

Given the ongoing political crisis in Sri Lanka and growing dissatisfaction, Rajpaksa has agreed to a cabinet reshuffle. Reportedly his brother, Finance Minister, Basil Rajapaksa is waging an internal campaign to become the next Prime Minister. Despite their criticism, Weerawansa, Gammanpila and Nanayakkara will reportedly retain their positions.

Read more here.


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