ECONOMYNEXT – The ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) will reappoint Jayantha Ketagoda, who quit his national list MP post in July, for a vacancy created by the resignation of State Minister for Money and Capital Markets Ajith Nivard Cabraal, party sources said.
The move quashed speculations and rumours of either Yoshitha Rajapaksa, the Prime Minister’s second son who is the current chief of staff at the prime minister’s office, or pardoned convicted-murderer Duminda Silva being appointed to the vacant post.
Cabraal resigned from his national list MP post after expressing his willingness to being appointed as the governor of the central bank. The current central bank chief W D Lakshman has announced his retirement from the post with effect from Tuesday (14) saying he “advanced” his exit plan by six weeks due to some “unpleasant” incidents.
“Ketagoda is to be appointed,” one SLPP party source told EconomyNext.
“Names of Yoshitha and Duminda being considered were rumours. No such names were considered,” another source said.
Ketagoda was first appointed as an MP through the SLPP national list after last year’s parliament poll.
He resigned from the post on July 6 to allow Basil Rajapaksa, younger brother of the President and the Prime Minister, to be appointed as finance minister.
Before his resignation, Ketagoda, an actor by profession, was expected to be appointed as the high commissioner in Australia.
However, he turned down the offer and stated that he will continue his political journey by supporting Basil Rajapaksa.
Later the finance ministry appointed Ketagoda as the chairman of the state-owned Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC). However, 60-year old Ketagoda declined that lucrative post as well.
Under a 2015 constitutional amendment, Basil Rajapaksa was prevented of becoming an MP due to his dual citizenship either through election or national list.
However, Ketagoda resigned from the post nine months after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, using the ruling SLPP’s near two-thirds parliament majority, brought in a change to the constitution through 20th amendment that made Basil Rajapaksa eligible to be appointed as a national list MP. (Colombo/Sep13/2021)