Basil Rajapaksa all smiles during yesterday’s press conference after his resignation as an SLPP National List MP
- Political maverick Basil Rajapaksa resigns as SLPP National List MP
- The exit comes exactly one month after the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa
- Vows to remain politically active
- Inform the SLPP to approach the representative of the popular struggle to replace his seat in Parliament
- Says he did his duty to the best of his abilities but failed to live up to the expectations of the people
- Insists that he was not the cause of the economic crisis and cannot be held responsible for the currency crisis as there were no foreign exchange reserves
- Claims he was the first to ask for help from the IMF, but the opinion program will have no major benefit for the economy, but a simple “transfer”
- Visibly angry Rajapaksa says people were responsible for electing them to power
Sri Lankan MP Podujana Peramuna and former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa resigned as National List MP yesterday and in a press conference he expressed his heart giving lots of food to political analysts, critics of the Rajapaksa regime and to social media.
Basil’s resignation came exactly a month after his older brother Mahinda resigned as prime minister.
After tendering his resignation to the Secretary General of Parliament, Rajapaksa told the media that he would not be involved in the governance of the state but would continue to focus on SLPP operations.
“I won’t be involved in any government activity after that, but I can’t and don’t want to walk away from politics,” he told reporters.
Rajapaksa said his resignation would bring a suitable person to Parliament under the SLPP seat.
“I have told the party to consider approaching one of the Galle Face representatives to ask for a system change, to replace my seat. We are willing to accommodate if they are willing to accept,” a- he added.
Speculation was that business leader Dhammika Perera is likely to fill the vacancy on the national SLPP slate. Perera was granted SLPP membership on Wednesday.
Rajapaksa said he did not expect to serve as Finance Minister adding that he had done his duty to the best of his abilities but could not live up to the expectations of the people and grant what the public asked for.
The former finance minister stressed that he was not the cause of the economic crisis, while insisting that he cannot be held responsible for the currency crisis.
“The economy was affected due to the COVID pandemic when I took office as Minister of Finance. People should know that the flour and fuel they are currently receiving are due to agreements that I have concluded during my visit to India. The reserves did not go down during my tenure, there was no foreign currency anyway,” he explained.
Rajapaksa also claimed he was the favorite to launch Sri Lanka’s bid to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but there were two groups in government and the Central Bank for and against.
“The IMF was initiated by me. My main concerns were getting expert advice on whether we could solve the problems and what benefits people would get from contacting the IMF – but no group was able to answer,” he said. underline.
The former finance minister said his personal view of the IMF program will not bring any major benefits to the economy, but rather will be a mere “transfer”.
When asked if it was okay to ask people to do home gardening now to cope with an impending food shortage after the government’s agricultural policies failed, a visibly agitated Rajapaksa lashed out saying that the voters were responsible for electing them to power.
“What is your claim to pass the ball to the public? I don’t even have a ball. Well, the public is guilty of electing us into power because they are the ones who passed the ball to us in the election”, he added.