Talk of Sarath Fonseka being given the Law and Order portfolio just over a week after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe conferred the subject on himself has caused consternation in several circles, Colombo Telegraph learns.
Sources close to Fonseka said that he had been told by President Maithripala Sirisena that the Ministry would be given to him, when he met the latter on Wednesday morning. The President, as per provisions in the 19th Amendment [Article 43(2)], has to appoint Ministers only on the advice of the Prime Minister. However, according to Article 43(3), he ‘may at any time change the assignment of subjects and functions and the composition of the Cabinet of Ministers’. For this he does not need to heed the directions of the Prime Minister.
As such Fonseka’s appointment would only go through smoothly if the Prime Minister approves and recommends it. It is not clear at this point whether Wickremesinghe is agreeable to conceding the ministry which he himself took over recently.
Meanwhile a delegation of 10 DIGs has made representations to the President urging him not to appoint Fonseka as Law and Order Minister. Fonseka being appointed would therefore bring him directly into confrontation with these DIGs.
Colombo Telegraph also learns that Minister of Science, Technology and Research Susil Premajayanth has also met with the President to make representations against Fonseka.