Senanayake refuses to resign from State Minister post

State Minister Vasantha Senanayake has refused to resign from his State Minister post.

Senanayake said that he had initially planned to submit his resignation letter to President Maithripala Sirisena.

However after the latest developments he had decided not to resign.

The United National Party (UNP) had yesterday removed Senanayake from the party.

UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that Senanayake will also be removed from his post as State Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Senanayake today said that he will not resign and challenged the party to remove him from his State Minister post.

He said that only the President has the authority to remove him from his Ministerial post.

Senanayake had recently threatened to withdraw his support to UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa at the Presidential election.

Speaking to reporters today Senanayake said that he had the utmost faith in Premadasa and was willing to work for him in his election campaign.

However now he says he has been forced to reconsider.

During the political coup last October Senanayake went back and forth between Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe before eventually backing Wickremesinghe.

However recently he raised concerns over moves to appoint Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister if Premadasa wins the Presidential election next month.

Senanayake is now expected to back Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa. (Colombo Gazette)