Daily Archives: September 10, 2015
National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) Leader the Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera today reiterated his call to reduce the number of ministers in the new government calling it a massive burden on the tax paying public.
Appointing a large number of ministers is a “payoff” and a farce, a visibly agitated Sobitha Thera who was in the forefront in galvanizing the civil society movement to bring down the former regime and usher social and economic reforms said .
Severely criticizing the move to appoint a large number of ministers for the purpose of accommodating a ‘National Government‘, the Thera said that those who criticised former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for appointing an unreasonable number of ministers was treading the same path in a shameless manner.
The so-called “National Government” the Thera said had mastered the art of appointing ministers to such an extent in a short span of time even going on to eclipse Rajapaksa.
“If this continues soon we will see all 225 parliamentarians become ministers” he added.
In the face of a large number of ministers been appointed the Thera said the 19th Amendment too has become a farce as it had specified that the government should not exceed 30 when it came to appointing cabinet ministers.
“The case put forward by the present rulers that the 19A has not specified the exact number of ministers in case of a ‘National Government’ does not hold water as they cannot use the term “National Government” as it does not have the support of all the parties in parliament” he added.
Meanwhile, according to government sources two more cabinet ministers and 5 deputy and state ministers will be appointed to further bolster the existing numbers.
So far the government has appointed 46 cabinet ministers and 40 deputy and state ministers.
COLOMBO:With the expansion of the Sri Lankan Council of Ministers on Wednesday, the number of Tamils in the Maithripala Sirisena-Ranil Wickremesinghe led “National Government” has gone up to five.
Among the 40 State and Deputy Ministers sworn-in on Wednesday, there were two Tamils, V Radhakrishnan (State Minister of Education); and Vijayakala Maheswaran (State Minister of Child Affairs). Radhakrishan is an Indian Origin Tamil and Maheswaran is from Jaffna.
Earlier on September 4, when the cabinet was formed, three Tamils were accommodated, namely; D M Swaminathan (Resettlement and Rehabilitation); Mano Ganeshan (National Dialogue on Reconciliation) and P Digambaram (Minister of Up Country Village and Community Development). Swaminathan is from Jaffna, while Digambaram and Ganeshan are Indian Origin Tamils from the plantation area and Colombo city respectively.
Out of the 47-member cabinet including President Sirisena, 33 are from the United National Party (UNP) led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and 14 are from the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) led by President Sirisena.
Out of the 19 State ministers, 11 are from the UNP, and eight from the UPFA. Out of the 21 Deputy Ministers, 11 are from the UNP and 10 from the UPFA.
Most of the UPFA ministers had earlier been vociferous supporters of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. But a good chunk of them crossed over to Sirisena’s side after Rajapaksa failed to lead the UPFA to victory in the August 17 parliamentary elections.