The UNP has the finance ministry as per the allocation of ministries of the present regime, and Ranawaka was elected to the present parliament on the UNP’s ‘elephant’ symbol.
Several intellectuals have suggested to the president to consider handing him over the finance portfolio in view of his contributions as the megapolis and western development minister and also due to his not being accused of any corruption or wrongdoing as a minister.
According to a recent IMF report, only the tourism and construction sectors in Sri Lanka have achieved financial targets, with Champika’s ministry receiving special commendation in the report.
Ravi will not be removed
However, Sirikotha sources say prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has requested the president not to relieve Karunanayake of the finance portfolio merely because of the allegations over the Central Bank bond sales.
Karunanayake has played a key role in collecting funds for the party’s election propaganda work and supported Wickremesinghe when he had been challenged by Sajitha Premadasa over the opposition leader position.
When contacted, a top official in Karunanayake’s personal staff told Sri Lanka Mirror that the president has given an assurance that the finance ministry would not be removed from him.