The elder brother of ports minister Arjuna Ranatunga was speaking to News1st of Sirasa TV yesterday (17).
Thereafter, he left the country, without obtaining leave or approval by the government, and a date of his return is unknown, SLPA sources say.
Several ministers informed prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe how Dhammika had criticized the government at the News1st programme and wanted his brother Arjuna to resign from his portfolio.
Says he will leave if further pressure
At the programme, Dhammika strongly criticized the government’s stand on the port matter, and said he would leave the chairmanship if he came under pressure any further.
There were plans to handover the Hambantota port-owned land to a Chinese company for 200 years, about which the subject minister or himself had not been informed.
Later, their objections led to the clauses in the handover agreement being amended to a certain extent, said Dhammika.
According to him, three top officials in the government had made the plans, which were detrimental to the country.
The Ranatungas will never give their consent to agreements damaging to the country and will not allow such traitorous things to happen in violation of the port authority act, he said.
The SLPA chairman added that they had no greed for positions, and would leave if there was pressure any further.
No qualification to hold position
When Sri Lanka Mirror placed what Dhammika has said before a government minister, he said that it has now been established that he had no qualifications to hold the SLPA chairmanship.
The parliament-appointed subcommittee on key government positions is dissatisfied with Dhammika’s educational qualifications, he said.
Knowing that he is facing removal, it is only fair to suspect that he wants to become a hero by giving excuses and resigning, the minister added.