Sri Lanka media minister quits

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe (2nd R) arrives to visit the site of a bomb attack at St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade in Colombo on April 21, 2019. - A string of blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka on April 21, killing at least 156 people, including 35 foreigners. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka’s Media minister Mangala Samaraweera Tuesday quit amid a deepening crisis within the shaky coalition government, an official said. Sri Lanka’s Media minister Mangala Samaraweera Tuesday quit amid a deepening crisis within the shaky coalition government, an official said. Samaraweera, a close confidant of President Chandrika Kumaratunga resigned his position as media minister, but will remain minister of Ports and Aviation, two other portfolios held by him, an official in his ministry said.

“He is not quitting the cabinet, only the media ministry,” the official said. “He has cited personal reasons for the decisions.”

The minister was a key figure who cobbled together a coalition that went on to narrowly win the April 2004 parliamentary elections with the support of a Marxist group.

The Marxist JVP, or People’s Liberation Front, is threatening to quit the government over Kumaratunga’s plans to enter into an aid sharing deal with Tamil Tiger rebels. – AFP