When the RTI was first tabled in the House during the former Rajapaksa regime, all and sundry in that corrupt administration did their utmost to prevent its progress. For that corrupt regime, RTI was poison. When a parliamentary committee that met to discuss the proposal, economic development minister at the time Basil Rajapaksa even got up from his seat and tried to hit Jayasuriya, then an opposition MP. “What is this for? Why these acts? As long as we are there, this will not be allowed to be passed,” he exploded.
Also known as ‘Mr. ten per cent’, Basil was the father of corruption in the Rajapaksa administration. Immediately after that regime collapsed, he fled the country as he well knew his own conduct, and that he was the most corrupt in the Rajapaksa family. He was so angry over Karu because had the RTI been passed, all his corrupt politics would have been exposed. When he got up to hit Karu, who was over 15 years older to him, another corrupt minister came to his support. Now, he is a top figure in the ‘Yahapaalana’ regime too.
When Karu was asked by a group of journalists about the history of the RTI, Basil’s attempt to hit him and the other corrupt minister who came to his aid, he just gave them an indifferent smile.