With the latest entry of Basil Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan cabinet headed by Gotabaya now has five of his family members.
A brother of Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has become finance minister, tightening the family's grip on power in the South Asian nation.
Basil Rajapaksa, 70, took over the finance portfolio from another brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The 72-year-old president has put Mahinda in charge of a newly created but lower level economic policies and planning ministry.
Mahinda Rajapaksa, 75, was the country's president for a decade up to 2015, and Basil, who is known as the family's political strategist, managed the economy then.
Basil takes charge now after the economy recorded a coronavirus-inflicted 3.6 percent contraction for 2020, the worst since independence from Britain in 1948.
With his entry, the cabinet headed by Gotabaya now has five members of the Rajapaksa family.
Eldest brother Chamal, 78, is minister of irrigation while the prime minister's eldest son Namal, 35, is the youth and sports minister.
Guys, Basil Rajapaksa has been appointed as the Minister of Finance.— Munza Mushtaq (@munza14) July 8, 2021
We can all finally enjoy true "Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour" as promised by the President and his Government.
I can't wait to buy myself a new Luxury Villa in Malwana! 😃 #LKA #SriLanka
Several Rajapaksa family members hold junior minister positions and other key positions in the administration.
Fourth Rajapaksa brother sworn into #SriLanka’s Cabinet:— Meera Srinivasan (@Meerasrini) July 8, 2021
Basil Rajapaksa, brother of President Gotabaya & PM Mahinda was on Thursday sworn in as Finance Minister; Their older brother Chamal R is a cabinet Minister, as is PM Mahinda's son https://t.co/JdEqXIc2j0#lka @the_hindu
Basil Rajapaksa was described as "Mr Ten Percent" in a 2007 US embassy cable published by the WikiLeaks organisation because of commissions he allegedly took from government contracts.
He has denied any wrongdoing and inquiries failed to find any evidence to back charges he syphoned off millions of dollars from state coffers.
As a dual US-Sri Lankan citizen, Basil was prohibited from standing in the 2020 election, but Gotabaya removed constitutional provisions which prevented his entry to the legislature.