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Rajapaksas all the way in Lankan Parliament?

[Express Buzz, Monday, 19 April 2010 09:15 No Comment]

The Rajapaksa family is likely to increase its formal control over the Sri Lankan state apparatus in the coming years, according to a leading weekly paper.

The Sunday Times said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was likely to nominate his brother and political aide, Basil Rajapaksa, as the Prime Minister, and get another brother, Chamal, elected as parliament Speaker, when the newly-elected House would meet for the first time on April 22.

A large number of MPs and other leaders of the ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) were backing the candidature of Basil Rajapaksa.

They were familiar with him because he had been the conduit between President Rajapaksa and the parliamentary wing of the party, the paper said.

“Security factors appear to other key issues in the move to appoint Basil Rajapaksa,” it added.

As regards the move to make Chamal the Speaker, the paper said that the President needed a reliable person for that post if and when there was an impeachment motion against him. UPFA sources recalled that the critical role played by the Speaker (M H Mohammand) when President R Premadasa was facing an impeachment motion in 1991. The Sunday Times also pointed out that in the line of succession, after the President, would come the Prime Minister, and thereafter, the Speaker.

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