Minister resigns protesting extensive Presidential powers
Patali Champika Ranawaka, the Minister of Technology, Research and Atomic Energy has resigned his portfolio.
The Minister, a member of the strongly Sinhala nationalist Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) or National Heritage Party which has three seats in the 225 seat Parliament resigned his portfolio in protest at the extensive powers President Mahinda Rajapaksa had granted himself.
Last month the JHU drew up a 35 point proposal which would make the President answerable to parliament and the judiciary but there had been no positive response from the President. As a result the JHU Central Committee decided to withdraw its Minister and also Udaya Gammanpila who holds a ministerial position in the Western Provincial Council.
The JHU has decided to stay as part of the government coalition for the time being.
The President is expected to call a snap Presidential election in January 2015 following a Supreme Court ruling that allows him to stand for a third term.