Sri Lanka's president has fired the justice minister for his criticism of the government, including a decision to sell majority shares of a sea port to China.

President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday approved a request made by his United National Party to dismiss Wijeyadasa Rajapakse.

The party accused Rajapakse of breaching the collective responsibility of the Cabinet of ministers by criticizing the port deal as well as other government policies and some of his colleagues.

Sri Lanka's government last month signed a long-delayed agreement to sell a 70 percent stake in a $1.5 billion port to China in a bid to recover from the heavy burden of repaying a Chinese loan obtained to build the facility.