Minister of housing development and engineering services Wimal Weerawansa
who staged a fast unto death in front of the UN Colombo office recently was rescued from death (or was it a face saving exercise for Wimal who could not hold on to his fast or his loud promises?) by President Rajapakse pouring some water into Wimal`s mouth amidst much pomp and fuss. But now it is reported that preparations are under way to issue a timely political `death warrant` to Wimal who was saved from an untimely death from fasting ( or pulling a fast one?)
These preparations came to light at the last Cabinet meeting.
It is reported that Minister Weerawansa had submitted a Cabinet paper two weeks ago regarding his proposal to launch a country wide housing program beginning at village level. The cost of this project is Rs. 5000 million. Weerawansa has also had a media briefing pertaining to this prior to the submission of the Cabinet paper. It is learnt that, even before Weerawansa could open the discussion on his paper, the President has bitterly resented it, according to reports reaching Lanka e news.
The President as the chief of the Cabinet Committee, not only rejected the Minister`s paper, but has also made an insinuating remark at the Minister while asking him not to forward any more Cabinet papers in the future. Further, the President has warned Weerawansa not to present such Cabinet papers without the prior approval of the Treasury.
After the last general elections, the President when appointing the Cabinet, gave step mother
ly treatment to Weerawansa. He was given the portfolio of Housing development and engineering services. In the past, the urban development authority, an important aspect of this Ministry was included in this portfolio. But, when allocating the Ministry to Weerawansa he divested the Ministry of this division. Now, the urban development authority comes under the purview of the Defense Ministry, the Secretary of which is the President`s brother Gotabaya Rajapakse.
The Colombo city development, Coast conservation and new Trade complex to be built are all under this Authority. Millions and millions of rupees of money
is going to be pumped into these projects.
Reportedly, even today Weerawansa is in resentment against the non allocation of the UDA under his Ministry.
In addition, it is the UDA which is preparing the groundwork to launch a development scheme from the sale proceeds collected from the lands which were cleared recently of 66000 families who were residing on them.
It is the general consensus that the Cabinet paper submitted regarding the Rs. 5000 million housing project of Weerawansa is seemingly running counter to the UDA plans and is seen as a threat to them, and this is why the President rejected the Weerawansa Cabinet paper.
Weerawansa`s Ministry had not been able to get any approval from the President on whatever schemes of his, which are apparently militating against the interests of the UDA. On this basis, speculations are rife Weerawansa is fast heading to get his death warrant from the President who earlier gave him life by giving him a little water to drink to Weerawansa to break his failed and futile fast.