Jumbo cabinet expands with eight additional deputy ministers

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 December 2010, 22:10 GMT]
Eight more parliamentarians from the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) are expected to be sworn in as deputy ministers on January 6th by the Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse, according to political sources in Colombo. Six of the new appointees have crossed over from the main opposition United National Party (UNP) and two are from the ruling party.

The prospective new deputy ministers are Messrs P.Thigamaparam and J.Sri Ranga of Nuwara Eliya district, Mr.Praba Ganeshan from the Colombo district and Mr.Manusha Nanayakara from the Galle district. They all won the April general election on the UNP ticket and crossed over to UPFA.

Two UPFA parliamentarians Ms Sudharshini Fernandopulle (Gampaha district), wife of late Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, a minister in the UPFA cabinet killed in suicide attack and Sachin Vaas (Galle district) are also billed to be appointed as deputy ministers.

In late November Mahinda Rajapaksa unveiled an expanded 59-member cabinet for his second six-year term as he retained his prime minister and foreign minister while rewarding with ministerial berths several MPs, including leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, who supported his government on a key amendment.

Newly-appointed ministers along with 31 other deputy ministers took the oath of office before Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat, ahead of the presentation of the first budget of his second term.

G L Peiris, the incumbent foreign minister, also retained his position.

The previous Cabinet under Rajapaksa had 41 ministers in it.


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