It is reported that Ministers Malik Samarawickrama and Sagala Ratnayake had locked horns at the Cabinet meeting over this issue.
While they were engaged in a heated exchange of words, the President had said, “This is a family dispute….its better if it is settled within the family..”
While Development Strategies and International Trade Minister, Malik Samarawickrama had presented the proposal seeking a plot of land in Trincomalee for the setting up of a steel factory, Ports and Shipping and Southern Development, Minister Sagala Ratnayake had refused to approve the proposal.
Ministers Sajith Premadasa and Mangala Samaraweera had said that since investments to the country is low, approval should be granted for the setting up of the steel factory.
However, due to Minister Ratnayake’s objection the cabinet paper submitted by Minister Malik Samarawickrama was not approved.
Reason for the dispute
Meanwhile, media reports indicate that the reason for the dispute between them is that Malik Samarawickrama had met the prime Minister and told him that it’s time for a change in the party leadership and asked that a popular leader be appointed to lead the party.
Digital Media under younger sister!
The Independent web site is of a firm stance that the prime Minister will contest the upcoming election. Hence, his digital media operations have been brought under his sister Shanika Wickremesinghe with immediate effect.
Previously, this responsibility was entrusted to his brother Niraj Wickremesinghe.
Meanwhile, a close associate of Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Thushara Wanniarachchi has been removed from the Temple Trees social media unit with immediate effect, the web site noted.
Ishini Wickremesinghe Perera has been entrusted with the Prime Minister’s media operations for the elections, while Saman Athawudahetti has been limited to media coverage activities.