These sources said that former Minister Rajapaksa has still not made up his mind on entering Parliament, but is expected to weigh the sentiments of SLPP MPs favourably.
These MPs are of the opinion that the winning combination of Gotabaya-Mahinda-Basil is needed more than ever at a time when the country is facing a pandemic. If he enters Parliament in July, he is due to be given an important ministry.
Speaking on the behalf of these MPs, Rural Roads and Other Infrastructure State Minister Nimal Lanza said the representation of Basil Rajapaksa, the Chief of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Regeneration and Poverty Alleviation, in Parliament is a timely need.
Lanza was addressing the media in Colombo yesterday. He said Rajapaksa played a significant role in the economic management and development of the country and took action to elevate Sri Lanka to a higher level of development.
The State Minister said the former Economic Development Minister contributed to a number of programmes including Uthuru Wasanthaya, Nagenahira Navodaya and the uplift of the rural economy.
“Today, the COVID crisis has affected Sri Lanka as well as the world economy. The rise in world oil prices has affected a number of sectors in Sri Lanka, including fisheries,” he said.
He added that the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna is the of the view that the people should be given relief and former Minister Basil Rajapaksa will take action in future in consultation with the President, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.
Today, Basil Rajapaksa should be a Minister representing Parliament rather than being outside Parliament to be a strength to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to fulfill the promises made to the people through Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s “Vision of Prosperity” and to fulfill the promises made in this Budget.
Addressing journalists in Kandy yesterday, Transport State Minister Dilum Amunugama said that Presidential Task Force Head Basil Rajapaksa, who was instrumental in building the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, will be able to extend his maximum strength and support to the government by entering Parliament.
He said that Basil Rajapaksa, as Economic Development Minister during current PM, Mahinda Rajapaksa’s tenure as President, had done a great deal to uplift the country’s economy and that he has a wide range of experience and vision in economic management.
State Minister Amunugama also said that Basil Rajapaksa should have entered Parliament at the initial point of forming the government. “Members of Parliament continued requesting him in Parliament. He continued to postpone his entry into Parliament while supporting the government staying outside of Parliament. Currently, the COVID-19 vaccination programme and the fertilizer programme are successfully being implemented under the guidance of Basil Rajapaksa,” Amunugama said.
The state minister added that it is better and effective if as Head of the Presidential Task Force Basil Rajapaksa directly gets involved in these programmes; therefore, his entry to Parliament is essential.”The Opposition is agitated that Basil Rajapaksa will enter Parliament.
They clearly know the strengths and abilities of Basil Rajapaksa; therefore, they are terrified. Basil Rajapaksa formed the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and he was able to lead the party to win each and every election. That itself exhibits the potential within Basil Rajapaksa, and it is fair that the Opposition is anxious,” he added.