While maintaining that he was not aware of the UNP General Secretary, Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam calling for an explanation for alleged breach of party discipline from State Ministers Ajith P. Perera and Sujeewa Senasinghe, Finance Minister Mangala Samaweera said one individual alone could not call for explanation from members of a political party.
As far as he knows the two-State Ministers have been called to have a formal discussion and not for a disciplinary inquiry, he added.
When journalists pointed out at the media briefing yesterday that all the media had reported about the attempts to embarrass the two ministers for their support to Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, Minister Samaraweera said party chairman, Minister Kabir Hashim had rejected the calling of explanation by Minister Kariyawasam.
“Calling of explanation from a member of the party has to be endorsed by the general secretary as well as the chairman of the party and then must be approved by the working committee. This has not happened here. Besides, why only Ajith and Sujeewa? How many other members have openly declared that they also were qualified to contest the presidential poll? If Ajith and Sujeewa are to explain for the campaign for their support to Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, how many more are to be called to explain,” Minister Samaraweera asked.
Commenting on the Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC) worth US$ 480 million offered to Sri Lanka by the US, Minister Samaraweera said the process of granting the facility was in progress and Sri Lanka would be able to sign the agreement in early 2020 and added appointment of Major General Shavendra Silva by President Maithripala Sirisena would not affect the MCC.
“Sri Lanka would have received the US grant by now if the enemies of the UNF government did not stage the constitutional conspiracy on October 26 and formed the 52-day illegal government. I spoke last week to the vice president of the MCC, who assured that Sri Lanka would get it shortly,” Minister Samaraweera stressed. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)