Government spokesman and Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said yesterday about 40 ministers would lose their jobs in the next UPFA government as President Mahinda Rajapaksa was determined to prune the cabinet to less than 40.
This is a sacrifice the country expects from us as government politicians. A large cabinet was not to the liking of the government or the people. The next UFPA regime will be totally transformed into a new type of governance aimed at taking Sri Lanka to a new era of progress and prosperity.
As a first step towards good governance, the cabinet will be much smaller than the one at present. We are ready to make sacrifices to assist President Rajapaksa reach that goal, the minister told the weekly UPFA news briefing at the Mahaweli Center.
He said the TNA election manifesto had vindicated the charges of a secret pact between the TNA and the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) or the General Sarath Fonseka camp.
The TNA wants a merged North and East as traditional Tamil homelands. It wants a devolution package which undermines the authority of the central government. This is exactly what the UPFA highlighted as demands agreed to by the DNA. Up to now the neither the UNP nor the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has made any comments on the TNA manifesto, the minister said.
He said the United National Party (UNP) which attempted to reduce the public sector recruitment by 50 per cent during the 2001 UNP regime was now shedding crocodile tears for public servants.
The UPFA government has brought peace and stability to Sri Lanka and people can travel safely to any part of the country, he said.
The minister said General Sarath Fonseka s wife Anoma had claimed that doctors had advised General Fonseka to live in an air conditioned abode because of the wounds he sustained in a LTTE suicide bomb attack. But the minister asked how this matched with General Fonseka s charges against Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa that Mr. Rajapaksa lived in AC room comfort in Colombo while he waged the war against the LTTE in the jungle under extreme weather conditions and amid facing the dangers of war.
The minister criticized the DNA for using religious symbols as election propaganda and stressed that no political party had ever done this kind of thing before.