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Last updated: 09 February, 2007 - Published 14:55 GMT
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Anura: Mahinda 'ruining' Sri Lanka
Bandaranaike (L) with Rajapaksa (R) and Wimal Weerawansa
Bandaranaike (L) helped getting JVP to support SLFP
The President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has to take full responsibility of his actions, former Minister Anura Bandaranaike said.

The National Heritage minister and two others, Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi were stripped off from their portfolios by President Rajapaksa on Friday.

"It is better to be out from the cabinet and independent rather than to be a party to a hellish government," former minister Bandaranaike told BBC Sandeshaya.

Sri Lanka 'destroyed'

"The country is being destroyed by the government. We don't have any hand in that and no responsibility: Now Mahinda Rajapaksa and his henchmen should take the full responsibility for what they are doing," Bandaranaike said.

 It is better to be out from the cabinet and independent rather than to be a party to a hellish government
Anura Bandaranaike

The younger brother of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga was reportedly unhappy over his portfolio after the reshuffle.

In a special announcement to the parliament on Thursday, Bandaranaike complained of death threats by "government supporters".

Former Foreign Minister

Samaraweera, who was ports minister in the recently selected fifty-four member cabinet, was the main campaigner for President Rajapaksa during November 2005 presidential elections.

Samaraweera with US Secretary of State
Samaraweera was Rajapaksa's campaign manager at 2005 elections

The treasurer of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) was the Foreign Minister in Rajapaksa administration until the recent reshuffle.

Samaraweera was intrumental in bringing the support of the Peoples Liberation Front (JVP) to form an alliance with the SLFP to gain parliamentary majority.

In a letter sent to Rajapaksa just before the reshuffle, he questioned the need for dissidents from the main opposition while government enjoyed JVP and JHU support.

Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi

Sooriyaarachchi, a close ally of Samaraweera, actively campaigned for Rajapaksa at the presidential elections.

He has reportedly expressed his displeasure over the 'jumbo' cabinet after the recent reshuffle.

Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi
Sooriyaarachchi, a close friend of Samaraweera, has criticised 'jumbo' cabinet

Both Sooriyaarachchi and Samaraweera are regarded as Kumaratunga loyalists.

Rajapaksa succeeded Kumaratunga as SLFP leader at a prty conference held last year.

Correspondents say the three men had opposed Mr Rajapakse's move to accommodate eighteen opposition legislators within government ranks late last month in an effort to secure a majority in parliament.

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