Rajitha Senaratne, the cabinet spokesperson in another classic case of ‘foot in mouth’ again, said that the Port City project would go ahead as planned contrary to the statements made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe resulting in the latter making a special announcement regarding the project.
A media blitz followed the proclamation by Senratne who insisted that the project would go ahead as they had found no ‘irregularity’ and in order to continue ‘good relations’ with China.
This was in stark contrast to pre-election statments made by the UNP and Wickremesinghe who insisted that the Port City project would be re- evaluated upon assuming duties of government.
The main issue was the transparency of the project, and the lack of an Environmental Impact study.
Following Senaratne’s “foot in mouth” statement at the Government Press Conference held on Thursday Wickremesinghe was forced to clarify his stance, which he did in parliament yesterday.
He told parliament that no decision has been taken yet and two committees have been appointed to look into the project, after which a decision would be made.
The statement came during the time there were secret negotiations between the government and Pieris.
The statement resulted in Pieris backtracking his assurance of resignation. The Pieris camp found the statement by the Minister to be a “breach of confidentiality”.
The statement and the ensuing media blitz resulted in Pieris being thrown out of office, unceremoniously, and putting the government in a spot they would not have been in, if not for Senaratne’s rash statement.