Sirisena Forms 44 Member “Temporary” Council of Ministers
COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday formed a 44-member “temporary” Council of Ministers with the express purpose of fulfilling his 100-day programme of action which includes the abolition or modification of the powerful Executive Presidency.
The Council has 27 cabinet ministers, nine State Ministers and eight Deputy Ministers.
Mangala Samaraweera is the Foreign Minister.Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe takes Reconciliation, Policy Development and Economic Affairs. D.M.Swaminadan, a Tamil, takes over Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Affairs.Cricketer Arjuna Ranatunga gets Ports and Shipping.Industry and Commerce goes to Rishad Bathiyutheen.Champika Ranawaka gets Power an Energy.Investment Promotion goes to Kabir Hashim.
There is one Tamil in the cabinet (D.M.Swaminathan), two among the State Ministers (S.Radhakrishnan and K.Velaudan) and one among the Deputy Ministers (Vijayakala Maheswaran).
Most of the ministers are drawn from the United National Party (UNP), the principal opposition party to support Sirisena.There are a few from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) to which President Sirisena belongs.So far,35 SLFP MPs have come over. More are expected to come by January 19. When these come, the council is expected to be expanded.
Speaking at the end of a business-like ceremony at the Secretariat, Sirisena said a more permanent cabinet will be formed after 100 days.
He said he is keen on forming a National or All Party government so that petty political differences would not arise and hinder the realisation of national political and economic goals.He said his primary goal is to usher in a new political culture in the country.