Sri Lankan lawmaker demands dismissal of ministers, top bureaucrats

Nov 14, 2007 (LBO) – A Sri Lankan government lawmaker who crossed over to the opposition benches Wednesday is demanding the dismissal of cabinet ministers and bureaucrats against whom a parliamentary committee headed by him made allegations of corruption. Parliamentarian Wijeyadasa Rajapaksa said that he has set seven conditions for the government to meet in return for his support for a crucial vote on the 2008 budget next week.

He said he wants the government to dismiss cabinet ministers against whom there are allegations of corruption by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) of which he is chairman.

The COPE has probed allegations of corruption in state enterprises as well as allegedly fraudulent privatisation of state ventures.

It issued several reports that faulted both ruling coalition as well as opposition law makers.

The COPE allegations are being investigated by the attorney general who will decide on prosecutions.

Rajapaksa had previously complained the government was trying to delay or block investigations into the COPE findings.

Rajapaksa is also demanding the dismissal of Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera and Commissioner General of Inland Revenue A. Wijepala against whom COPE made strictures concerning