Sri Lankan president rejects death fasting minister's resignation

19:44, July 09, 2010      

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Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapksa here Friday rejected the resignation of his minister who is on a death fast opposite the UN compound in Colombo, a spokesman of the minister said.

Wimal Weerawansa, the minister of Engineering Services resigned his ministerial job on Friday as he lay on a mat inside a temporary enclosure.

"I am aware that accusations can be leveled that I have chosen the wrong course of action. If the cabinet post I held is an impediment to carry out my struggle, I would rather leave the cabinet than to abandon my struggle," Weerawansa wrote to Rajapaksa in his resignation letter.

"The president, however, has rejected his resignation," Jayantha Samaraweera, a spokesman for Weerawansa said.

Activists from Weerawansa's party, the National Freedom Front ( NFF) on Tuesday began protest action against UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's decision to appoint an advisory panel on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka.

They blocked the entry to the UN compound and camped up there staging protest action.

The protest drew a sharp retort from the UN, which ordered the closing down of the UN development programme regional office in Colombo whilst summoning UN Resident Coordinator Neil Buhne for consultations.

Source: Xinhua


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