Basil Rajapaksa, the youngest of the four Rajapaksa brothers, was on Thursday sworn in as the Finance Minister of Sri Lanka. With this, the hold of this family on the power of this island country has become stronger. Basil Rajapaksa (70) is the fourth brother, after Gotabaya Rajapaksa President, Mahinda Rajapaksa Prime Minister, Agriculture Minister Chamal Rajapaksa, to have joined the cabinet. He was administered the oath of office by President Gotabaya.
With Basil joining the council of ministers, the number of Rajapaksa family members in the government has gone up to seven. Till now the charge of Finance Ministry was with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, now he has been given a new responsibility of economic policy and plan implementation. Mahinda’s eldest son Namal is the Sports Minister in the cabinet while Chamal’s son Sheeshendra is the Minister of State. Basil Rajapaksa was considered the intellectual pillar of the Mahinda Rajapakse administration from 2010 to 2015. Basil holds dual citizenship of the US and Sri Lanka and has also served as the head of all key task forces from economic management to the environment.
Basil did not contest last year’s parliamentary election and has reached Parliament through a national list of elected MPs. A parliamentarian from the ruling SLPP national list resigned this week, paving the way for Basil to enter parliament.
The party tweeted, “Congratulations to the Honorable Basil Rajapaksa for leading the Finance Ministry in difficult times of Sri Lanka’s economy and assuming such a huge responsibility. We stand by your side in this journey and are determined to join you in the idea of a prosperous Sri Lanka.” According to the Sri Lankan constitution, only an MP can become a minister.
However, in this island country, there are all kinds of discussions among the people about sitting under the rule of most members of the same family. People say that it has become like a monarchy, not a democracy.