Team work will keep us in power for another 20 years - Vajira Abeywardena | Sunday Observer

Team work will keep us in power for another 20 years - Vajira Abeywardena

Following the recent demands of United National Party MPs who did not receive any ministerial portfolios, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed all Cabinet Ministers to give due priority and recognition in conducting official duties to all those who were’nt given portfolios, Minister of Internal and Home Affairs and Provincial Councils and Local Government, Vajira Abeywardena told the Sunday Observer.

“There is one important thing we should all remember. The Prime Minister sacrificed much to bring power back to the UNP. Hadn’t he done that, all MPs would be facing an election now. Hence, we must look in to reap the maximum benefits of this second opportunity. If we work as one team, we will be able to be in power for 20 more years. Our aim should be that,” he said. During the last couple of weeks, United National Front (UNF) MPs, Palitha Range Bandara, V. Radhakrishnan, and Lakshman Wijemanna had publicly criticised party leaders for not appointing them as Ministers. Palitha Range Bandara and V. Radhakrishnan held state ministerial positions prior to October 26, 2018.

MP Range Bandara has reportedly told a public rally that he must be given a Cabinet portfolio before the new year considering all the hard work he has rendered to the party during the political crisis. Leader of the Up-Country People’s Front (UCPF) and UNF MP, V. Radhakrishnan issuing a press release said that Prime Minister Wickremesinghe assured him of a Cabinet post and a deputy ministerial portfolio to his party. UCPF represents only two seats in Parliament.

Kalutara District UNF MP Lakshman Wijemanne also demanded a ministerial portfolio claiming that MPs junior to him were also given ministerial posts.

“In 1994, I contested for the first time and I became number one in the Galle district, where the district leader was someone else. But I didn’t receive any ministerial position from the Party. I only received a position in 2000.

I was disappointed too. But now I understand that we have to work carefully with political maturity.

I believe that all our MPs would work in such maturity,” said Minister Abeywardena.

According to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, the Cabinet of Ministers should not exceed 30 members including the President and Prime Minister.

Currently, other than the 28 Cabinet ministers excluding the President and Prime Minister, three non-Cabinet Ministers, 17 State Ministers and seven Deputy Ministers have been appointed.