Lanza resigns as State Minister citing conscience

State Minister of Rural Roads and Other Infrastructure Nimal Lanza has stepped down from his ministerial portfolio, claiming that although he could hold on to his position for three more years, his conscience no longer allows him to do so at a time when the members of the public are gravely affected by a crisis.

He cited this reason in a letter of resignation directed to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday (22).

Lanza last month handed over a report to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa about the problems that had arisen in his State Ministry. He said that while he does not wish to reveal the details of the report, he hopes that the President will take the necessary steps to investigate his problems.

The Morning reported earlier last month that following differences of opinions that had occurred between Lanza and his State Ministry Secretary Prof. Ranjith Dissanayake, Lanza had instructed his private staff to temporarily not report to duty.

Meanwhile, a leaked audio clip was circulated on social media last week claiming to be a hostile conversation between Lanza and Rural and Divisional Drinking Water Supply Projects Development State Minister Sanath Nishantha. The conversation was regarding a ceremony to lay the foundation stone for a road-related project, where Nishantha threatens Lanza, stating that he will conduct a press conference slamming Lanza if he proceeds with the ceremony.

Lanza’s resignation came days after National Freedom Front (NFF) National Organiser Jayantha Samaraweera stepped down from his position as the State Minister of Warehouse Facilities, Container Yards, Port Supply Facilities, and Boats and Shipping Industry Development. Meanwhile, in a cabinet reshuffle on 3 and 4 March, Udaya Gammanpila and Wimal Weerawansa were stripped of their portfolios as the Minister of Energy and Minister of Industries, respectively.