Thursday June 27, 2019

Sri Lanka's sacked 'rock star' joins opposition

By Our Political Correspondent

Sep 19, 2017 16:58 PM GMT+0530 | 1 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT - The sacked junior minister of Tourism and Christian Affairs Arundika Fernando joined former president Mahinda Rajapaksa's faction Tuesday, a week after he was told by the government that he will not be reinstated.

Fernando, who was called a rock star by his parliamentary colleagues after he rocked the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) faction of President Maithripala Sirisena, made a special statement before crossing the floor of the House.

"From today, I will work to ensure the collapse of this government," he said just before taking a seat on the opposition benches.

Last week, Fernando met with President Sirisena Wednesday seeking his ministerial job back, but was told no way and that there may be more sackings of SLFP ministers in the cabinet.

Fernando's Puttalam district SLFP organisation position was immediately taken over by another SLFP deputy minister Nimal Lanza who had earlier been in a list of possible defectors to the Joint Opposition.

Fernando was sacked last week after he reportedly demanded millions of rupees to continue supporting the president. An SLFP source said the President was aware that Fernando had cut a lucrative financial deal with a Rajapaksa loyalist to join their side.

Government spokesman Rajith Senaratne told reporters at the post-cabinet press conference in Colombo that the President made it clear to Fernando that he will not pay any ransom money to keep anyone in the government.

"I don't have the kind of money you are asking, but even if I had, I won't give you," Senaratne quoted the President as saying. (COLOMBO, Sept 19, 2017)



  1. Champa September 19, 08:05 AM

    The Joint Opposition (JO) is not an Ambalama (resting place) for sacked Ministers.Both Priyakara and Arundika are turncoats. They enjoyed ministerial privileges and perks without question for years. In 2015 they betrayed people who voted them by joining the hybrid traitorous government.
    The moment they are sacked they become patriots. This is unacceptable. They crossed over due to their failure to keep the stake high and also only after trying various avenues to get their positions back. Turncoats are not trustworthy.
    JO is not bankrupt to accept sacked Ministers.JO should have the backbone to reject sacked Ministers who want to join them.. They deserve peoples wrath. Losing Ministerial position does not make them principled people. If they are principled, they should not have accepted Ministerial positions in the first place.
    JO doesnt need showmen. JO comprised of politicians who opposed the government in principle. At times, we have differences. JO is under my attack constantly when they are disoriented.
    I have a right to criticize whenever they fail to maintain the high standards we expected from them. The same way, as someone from the public, it it my duty to raise my voice when I see them act like headless chickens. Contd.....

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