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Anura Mangala and Sripathi stripped off portfolios

By Walter Jayawardhana – Lanka Page

ANURA BANDARANAIKE, MANGALA SAMARAWEERA AND SRIPATHI SOORIYAARACHCHI STRIPPED OFF THEIR MINISTERIAL POSITIONS.

National Heritage Minister Anura Bandaranaike, Ports Minister Mangala Samaraweera and a Projects minister Sreepathi Sooriyaarachchi were stripped of their ministerial portfolios by President Rajapaksa on Friday.

Anura bandaranaike’s differences with President Rajapaksa were developing ever since Rajapaksa received the party nominations to contest as the Presidential candidate of the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party. He is known to have been in a secret alliance with his sister former President Chandrika Bandaranaike and was involved in a secret campaign to defeat him at the last Presidential election.

Samaraweera and Sreepathi Sooriyaarachchi are considered to be close allies of the former President Chandrika Bandaranaike but was vigorously campaigning for President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last Presidential elections but were disappointed since Mangala wanted to be the Prime minister and Sreepathi wanted to be a powerful cabinet minister unsuccessfully.

Their differences with the President were developing gradually but culminated when in a cabinet reshuffle mangala lost his prestigious cabinet portfolio of Foreign Affairs and Sreepathi never was elevated from a non cabinet ministerial portfolio.

Mangala Samaraweera also was angry that his Southern opponent Mahinda Wijesekera was taken in to the cabinet in the cabinet reshuffle.

Making a statement to the BBC Sandeshaya Anura Bandaranaike said, "It is better to be out from the cabinet and independent rather than to be a party to a hellish government,"

Ports minister Samaraweera,  was one of the the main campaigners for President Rajapaksa during November 2005 presidential elections. He is also the Treasuerer of the ruling Sri lanka Freedom Party.

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February 10, 2007 - Posted by | News and politics, South Asia

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