Rajapaksa Family Tightens Grip On Sri Lanka Amid Growing Economic Crisis

0

Basil Rajapaksa took charge of finance portfolio after Sri Lankan economy recorded a coronavirus-inflicted 3.6% contraction for 2020, the worst since 1948.

Rajapaksa Family Tightens Grip On Sri Lanka Amid Growing Economic Crisis

The Sri Lankan cabinet now has five members of the Rajapaksa family.



Colombo:

A brother of Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday became finance minister, tightening the family’s grip on power in the South Asian nation as it confronts growing economic troubles.

Basil Rajapaksa, 70, took over the finance portfolio from another brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. The 72-year-old president has put Mahinda in charge of a newly created but lower level economic policies and planning ministry.

Mahinda Rajapaksa, 75, was the country’s president for a decade up to 2015, and Basil, who is known as the family’s political strategist, managed the economy then.

Basil takes charge now after the economy recorded a coronavirus-inflicted 3.6 percent contraction for 2020, the worst since independence from Britain in 1948.

With his entry, the cabinet headed by Gotabaya now has five members of the Rajapaksa family.

Eldest brother Chamal, 78, is minister of irrigation while the prime minister’s eldest son Namal, 35, is the youth and sports minister. Several Rajapaksa family members hold junior minister positions and other key positions in the administration.

Basil Rajapaksa was described as “Mr Ten Percent” in a 2007 US embassy cable published by the WikiLeaks organisation because of commissions he allegedly took from government contracts.

He has denied any wrongdoing and inquiries failed to find any evidence to back charges he siphoned off millions of dollars from state coffers.

As a dual US-Sri Lankan citizen, Basil was prohibited from standing in the 2020 election, but Gotabaya removed constitutional provisions which prevented his entry to the legislature.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by our staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

All the data shown above will be stored by www.rajpostexam.com on https://www.rajpostexam.com/. At any point of time, you can contact us and select the data you wish to anonymise or delete so it cannot be linked to your email address any longer. When your data is anonymised or deleted, you will receive an email confirmation. We also use cookies and/or similar technologies to analyse customer behaviour, administer the website, track users' movements, and to collect information about users. This is done in order to personalise and enhance your experience with us. Click here to read our Cookie Policy.