UPFA's first cabinet meeting held without JVP ministers

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 April 2004, 19:01 GMT]
The optimism expressed by some senior leaders of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) that row over the allocation to the Mahaveli Development Ministry was close to a settlement evaporated Wednesday evening as the leaderships of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) failed to accept the compromise, political sources said.

Earlier it was reported by some senior leaders of the UPFP, leaderships of both parties were close to an agreement over the allocation of Mahaveli Development Ministry. The JVP is reported to have agreed to taking over the post of Deputy Minister for Mahaweli if the President takes over the Mahaveli Development Ministry under her direct control. However, the finalization of the compromise met with last minute hurdles and is reported to have been abandoned by both parties, political sources said.

Meanwhile the first cabinet meeting of the UPFA government was held Wednesday evening in the President House sans the JVP ministers-designate due to the last minute failure of a compromise formula over sharing of ministries, sources said.

However, at the first parliamentary group of UPFA held Wednesday evening, President Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunge decided to field a veteran communist party member, Mr.D.E.W.Gunasekara, for the post of Speaker. Mr. Gunasekara is one of the national list parliamentarians of the UPFA and a leading member of the Sri Lanka Communist Party, a constituent of the UPFA, sources said.

Furthermore, the UPFA parliamentary group decided to appoint Minister Mr.Anura Bandaranaike as the leader of the House and Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle as the government whip, sources said.

 

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