SLPP disappointed in Wimal over Colombo port deal remarks

Minister of Industries Wimal Weerawansa

ECONOMYNEXT – Minister of Industries Wimal Weerawansa’s recent public criticism of the now-scrapped plan to hand over a minority stake in the Eastern Container Terminal (ECT) of the Colombo Port to a firm in India has drawn the ire of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP).

Speakin to reporters yesterday, SLPP MP Sagara Kariyawasam expressed the party’s disappointment with Weerawansa’s remarks which Kariyawasam said was detrimental to the unity within the ruling coalition.

Last week, the outspoken Weerawansa who leads the National Freedom Front (NFF) invited five other constituent parties of the SLPP-led alliance to take a “strong decision” in the event the government went ahead with the ECT “sale”.

As a member of both the government and the cabinet of ministers, Kariyawasam told reporters yesterday, Weerawasna should’ve been mindful of the convention of collective responsibility.

“The SLPP is not a party that engages in cheap politics for the sake of preferential votes. Minister Wimal Weerawansa, had he done this properly and as a member of the cabinet and the government, [ought to have kept in mind] that there is a certain unity in cabinet meetings and other government meetings. We’re disappointed with the way he acted,” he said.

Neither President Gotabaya Rajapaksa nor the SLPP government is swayed by anyone, said Kariyawasam, and both love the country and strive to do what’s best for it.

“We pledged to the people that we will protect and develop this country. We will continue to do that, but not out of fear or under the influence of anyone,” he added.

The MP further said that, as a democratic government, all partner parties of the government must discuss any issues internally before talking to the media.

“It is not in the best interest of a government when individuals hold press conferences on their own and try to become heroes before the public,” he added.

When contacted by EconomyNext, Minister Weerawansa declined to comment. (Colombo/Feb03/2021)

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