National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) Leader the Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera today reiterated his call to reduce the number of ministers in the new government calling it a massive burden on the tax paying public.
Appointing a large number of ministers is a “payoff” and a farce, a visibly agitated Sobitha Thera who was in the forefront in galvanizing the civil society movement to bring down the former regime and usher social and economic reforms said .
Severely criticizing the move to appoint a large number of ministers for the purpose of accommodating a ‘National Government‘, the Thera said that those who criticised former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for appointing an unreasonable number of ministers was treading the same path in a shameless manner.
The so-called “National Government” the Thera said had mastered the art of appointing ministers to such an extent in a short span of time even going on to eclipse Rajapaksa.
“If this continues soon we will see all 225 parliamentarians become ministers” he added.
In the face of a large number of ministers been appointed the Thera said the 19th Amendment too has become a farce as it had specified that the government should not exceed 30 when it came to appointing cabinet ministers.
“The case put forward by the present rulers that the 19A has not specified the exact number of ministers in case of a ‘National Government’ does not hold water as they cannot use the term “National Government” as it does not have the support of all the parties in parliament” he added.
Meanwhile, according to government sources two more cabinet ministers and 5 deputy and state ministers will be appointed to further bolster the existing numbers.
So far the government has appointed 46 cabinet ministers and 40 deputy and state ministers.