Sri Lankan justice minister sacked over criticism of Chinese port deal
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday sacked the justice minister over his criticism of a $1.1 billion deal, signed last month, to lease a port to a Chinese company, the cabinet spokesman said.
The minister, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, criticised the cabinet decision to lease to China the port of Hambantota, on the island nation’s southern tip, under a plan to convert loans worth $6 billion that Sri Lanka owes China into equity. He said it was akin to selling national assets.
“The president sacked Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe on the grounds that he breached collective responsibility of the cabinet by criticising the Hambantota port lease agreement,” cabinet spokesman Gayantha Karunatileka told reporters.
Rajapakshe was not available for comment.
Shortly after the president’s decision, Rajapakshe told media outside his ministry he had been sacked for exposing a cabinet violation of the constitution by agreeing to the port deal.
“My conscious says that there is no other shame other than staying in a cabinet which sells national assets,” Rajapakshe said.
Sri Lanka signed the long-delayed $1.1 billion deal to lease 70 percent of its southern Hambantota port to China Merchants Port Holdings to handle the commercial operations of the Chinese-built port on a 99-year lease raising opposition from the public.
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He is quite right about Hambantotota This could have been developed as one of the Industrial hub of Sri Lanka just as the Auckland Airport and Harbour is the Industrial Hub of New Zealand the other industrial Hub being Trincomalee making use of these 2 strategic Habours in our country’s interest
Why such a tension against Rajapakse as it is well known it is the Secretary to the justice minister that can give the infra structure to execute any rapid of hearing all the cases and the judiciary is also to be blamed for delaying cases contravening article 126 (5) where it is stipulated that the proceedings should be completed within 2 months of filling of a case this should be 1st applied to the Supreme Court then to commercial High Court then to District Courts and then to magistrate Courts then in a few months time we Sri Lankans will not be saying that Justice Delayed is Justice Denied