Several ministers objected, noting only the president and the prime minister could have such a position in their staffs.
Karunanayake responded by claiming he too, had many responsibilities like them as the foreign minister, and wanted the assistance of a CoS.
Joining the discussion, president Maithripala Sirisena remarked other ministers too, would demand the services of such an official.
When he inquired from the cabinet as to who else wanted a CoS, almost all ministers raised their hands in request.
They however, noted a CoS could not be appointed at such a high salary, with the secretary to the president telling the cabinet that the maximum payment could be Rs. 100,000.
Thereafter, the president advised Karunanayake to have an adviser if necessary.