SF Appointment – Joke or Serious decision

SF appointment– I made my statement responsibly: Rajitha

Daily Mirror

With reference to the controversy that has arisen over the proposal by President Maithripala Sirisena to assign Minister Sarath Fonseka to deal with emergency situations that may occur in the country, Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratna said he takes full responsibility for the statement made by him.

He said it was he who was responsible for reporting what transpired at Cabinet meetings to the media as the Cabinet spokesperson. He said he had made the latest remarks with the blessings of the President and the Prime Minister.

He was responding to Labour and Trade Union Relations Minister John Seneviratne who said the Cabinet Spokesman had made several irresponsible utterances in this regard.

Dr. Senaratne clarified his position at a media briefing after participating in a business conference conducted by Premier International at the Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo. He said, “No one in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) can lie about this manner. I talked about what was discussed by Cabinet. There were Cabinet Ministers present. If they have something to say they must have the backbone to do so. These things should have been discussed at the cabinet meeting. There is a clause in the Right to Information Bill to inform everything that happens in the Cabinet to the media “I state everything that happens there as the Cabinet Spokesman”

“Because of that, the government will not fall into an abyss, nor will the SLFP whose members have their legs on both sides of the divide. There are also those who are trying to join hands with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, he said.

Appointment of SF to top post a joke blown out of proportion: Harrison

Minister of Rural Economy P. Harrison said that the media had blown a statement made by the President Maithripala Sirisena regarding the assignment of Minister Sarath Fonseka to a top post out of proportion, but it was a mere joke cracked at the Cabinet meeting held last Tuesday (25).

The minister said this at a workshop held at Galpokuna estate in Kuliyapitiya that he participated in where a delegation of specialists from the Netherlands were also present.

He said said this when questioned by the media about a remark by the President with regards to the new post given to Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka.“Not at all. It was manipulated by the media. This was a question the President posed to FM Sarath Fonseka as a joke. This has been misconstrued by the media as a return to the Gotabhaya era where fear and terror is spread within a military-style government. That will never happen.

Expressing his views on the May Day rally to be conducted by the UNP he said they would hold the biggest, best attended May Day rally ever held in the history of the country.

“It is not an easy task to fill the Galle Race Green with the people. This time the joint opposition have a tough task ahead of them. MP Bandula Gunawardena announced that they would bring 2 million people to their rally. This time their nakedness will be there for all to see.” After May Day several persons will again run to the President.

The minister said further that as a mature party like the SLFP knows how to commemorate May Day without the support of others as they possess sufficient experience in this regard.(Dinesh Upendra)