Mangala Samaraweera appointed new SL Foreign Minister

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 23 November 2005, 07:22 GMT]
Sri Lanka's new President Mahinda Rajapakse has demoted former President Chandrika Kumaratunga's brother, Mr. Anura Bandaranaike, by removing the Foreign Ministry portfolio from him and appointing him as the Minister of Tourism in his new 25-member cabinet. Chief coordinator of Mr. Rajapakse's Presidential Campaign, Mangala Samaraweera, a JVP-friendly hardliner, has been appointed as the Foreign Minister, in addition to his portfolios, Ports and Aviation. The twice postponed- swearing in of the new cabinet of ministers took place at the Presidential Secretariat Wednesday. Rajapakse is likely to keep with him the Finance and Defence Ministries.

Sri Lanka cabinet
Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ports and Aviation

Sri Lanka cabinet
Mangala Smaraweera, who served as Media Minister in addition to Ports and Aviation Minister, was sidelined by Kumaratunga and gave up his Media Ministry portfolio in June 2005.

Mr. Rajapakse in his first move as the President went against the party's central committee decision and appointed 73-year long hardliner Ratnasiri Wickremenayake as the Prime Minister, instead of Mr. Anura Bandaranaike.

Former Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama, a close confidante of Kumaratunga, is another victim to lose his portfolio and has been given Ministry of Investment Promotion.

The swearing-in of the new cabinet was initially scheduled for Monday, but was postponed to Tuesday amidst reports of discussions between Mr. Rajapakse and the JVP in a bid to bring them back into the fold of the UPFA government.

However, the JVP has informed the President that the party would not accept any portfolios right now, instead would continue to sit in the opposition benches and monitor the progress of the new cabinet, informed sources said.

Senior members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) were not happy about the allocation of portfolios, including the appointment of Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, as the new offers have not met their expectations, sources added.

Meanwhile, Rajapakse has postponed the parliament sitting from November 22 to November 25, resulting in all motions presented so far expiring.

When the Parliament in Colombo is opened on November 25 ceremonially, the new Lankan President is scheduled to address the House, before it debates the lapsed Emergency Regulation.

Following is the list of SL Ministers:

  • Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka - Defence and Finance
  • Ratnasiri Wickramanayake - Prime Minister, Disaster Management
  • Mangala Samaraweera - Foreign Affairs, Ports and Aviation
  • Anura Bandaranaike - Tourism
  • DM Jayarathna - Post, Telecommunications and Rural Economy Development
  • Nimal Siripala de Silva - Health
  • Amarasiri Dodangoda - Justice
  • AHM Fowzie - Transport, Railway, Petroleum Resources
  • Jeyaraj Fernandopulle - Trade, Commerce, Consumer Affairs, Highways
  • Maithripala Sirisena - Agriculture, Irrigation, Mahaweli
  • John Senevirathna - Power and Energy
  • Sumeda Jayasena - Child Affairs and Women
  • Anura Priyadharsana - Information and Media
  • Dinesh Gunawardena - Urban Development and Water Supply
  • Douglas Devananda - Social Services
  • Sarath Amunugama - Public Administration
  • Ferial Ashroff - Housing and Construction
  • Susil Premajayantha - Education
  • Athauda Senevirathne - Labor Relations and Foreign Employment
  • SB Navinna - Rural Industry and Self Employment
  • Piyasena Gamage - Vocational Training and Technical Skills
  • Janaka Bandara - Provincial Council
  • ALM Athaullah - Fisheries and Housing Development
  • Rohitha Bogollagama - Investment Promotion
  • Tissa Witharana - Science and Technology
  • DEW Gunasekara - Constitutional Affairs and National Integration.

A non Cabinet Minister Sripathi Suriyaarachchi, Minister of Skills and Employment Promotion, resigned Wednesday, the same day he took oath.

Mr. Cegu Issadean, Deputy Minister of Mass Media and Information and Mr. Wijedasa Rajapakse, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and a confidante of Kumaratunga, were not present to take oaths, sources said.

Related Articles:
21.11.05   Wickremanayake appointed new Lankan PM
27.07.05   Joint appearance of SLFP foes
07.06.05   Samaraweera resigns from Media Minister post


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