Aug 17, Colombo: The Working Committee of the United National Party (UNP) today unanimously agreed to adopt a resolution stating that the party has no confidence in the Minister of Justice and Buddha Sasana Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe.
The resolution was submitted by parliamentarian Ashu Marasinghe and seconded by parliamentarian Sydney Jayaratne.
The UNP Working Committee at a meeting held this morning has decided to allow the party leadership to take a decision on future measures regarding the actions of Minister Rajapakshe.
None of the Working Committee members have reportedly opposed the resolution when the UNP leader Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe asked if anyone opposes the resolution.
During the discussions which lasted for nearly two hours at Sirikotha today on his conduct, the Minister has reportedly denied that he ever made a statement to cancels the Hambantota port deal.
Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva in a Twitter message said the Minister Rajapakshe has said that never made the purported statement to a local newspaper that he "will not look back until he cancels the Hambantota sale".
The five-point resolution cited that Minister Rajapakshe had failed in his duties as the Minister of Justice, had failed to bring in new laws to tackle bribery and corruption as promised by the United National Front's manifesto; had failed to bring in laws which provide for criminally earned moneys to be given back to the agencies; the Minister is being blamed for the prolonged delay in the hearing of criminal cases; and that the Minister's conduct had brought the government and the United National Party into disrepute.
Minister Rajapakshe who was present during the deliberations denied making the statement, which according to Minister Rajitha Senaratne breached the collective responsibility of the cabinet. The Minister was given time until August 21st to clarify his statement.
Responding to the delays in prosecution, Minister Rajapakshe had said that despite the assertions by parliamentarians, he could not interfere with the work of the Attorney General's Department.
Allegations have surfaced that the Justice Minister and the Attorney General's office are impeding the proceedings of fraud and corruption probes against the politicians and the top officials of the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime.