Says will resign if President or Prime Minister asks him to do so
By Kelum Bandara
Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, facing a no-confidence motion is reported to have told the Cabinet yesterday that he would step down from his post if President Maithripala Sirisena or Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe asks him to do so.
Two government MPs Ashu Marasinghe and Bandulalal Bandarigoda told a joint press conference in Parliamentary complex that the Minister informed this when the parliamentary group members questioned him on the charges that are being made against him.
MP Bandarigoda assured that action will be taken against the Minister if he is found guilty. “We will not sit with him in the government side if he fails to keep his word to resign if found guilty.
The Government Parliamentary Group which met yesterday decided to call for the appointment of a select committee to investigate on the Easter Sunday bombings.
Dr. Marasinghe said a decision was made at a meeting of government parliamentary group to appoint a select committee to look into all aspects with regard to Easter Sunday bombings. He said several opposition MPs including Kumara Welgama had endorsed this move.
“The select committee will look into all matters with regard to the bombings and on National Thowheed Jama’ath. Accordingly, Army Commander, IGP, Minister Bathiudeen, Governor Western Province Asath Salley and Governor Eastern Province M. L. A. M. Hizbullah will be summoned before the select committee,” he said. He said the select committee will comprise both government and opposition MPs.
Meanwhile, some of the UNP MPs have informed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the group meeting that they will vote in favour of the no-confidence motion that had been brought against Minister Bathiudeen.
Also Dr. Marasinghe said Sharia University in Batticaloa will be converted into a government monitored institution in several months time. He said the oversight committee on Education and Human Resources is the legitimate body which should probe on it. However, he said the committee would welcome the probes carried out by COPE.