Eastern Province Governor M.L.A.M. Hizbullah and Western Province Governor Azath Salley had tendered their letters of resignation to President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday, the President’s Media Division stated.
Accordingly, the President had accepted the resignation letters of the governors.
Prior to handing over their resignations, the Governors had held a meeting with the President and a group of MPs from the UPFA at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.
Responding to a query made by the Daily News, UPFA General Secretary MP Mahinda Amaraweera said that he had met with the two Governors last morning prior to meeting with the President.
“I met with the two Governors at my residence last morning and after discussing the matter a group of us SLFP-MPs took them to meet with the President and they agreed to step down from their posts.”
When asked if Minister Rishad Bathiudeen had also met the two Governors, he said they had all met earlier and discussed the issue. However, Amaraweera noted that the President had ensured the resignation of the two Governors but said that it was beyond his mandate to remove Commerce and Industry Minister Rishad Bathiudeen.“The President did what he could, but he cannot remove Minister Bathiudeen. That will have to be decided upon by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe,” he said.
Meanwhile, Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday visited Parliamentarian Ven.Athuraliye Rathana Thera who was engaged in a hunger strike in front of the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy demanding the resignation of Governors Azath Salley, M.L.A.M. Hizbullah and Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera later in the day ended the fast after Hizbullah and Salley tendered their resignations.
President accepts resignation letters from Hizbullah and Salley
The Presidential Media Unit said that the President Maithripala Sirisena accepted the resignation letters from Governor of Western Province Azad Salley and Eastern Province Governor Hizbullah.