Sri Lankan president appoints new cabinet

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Thursday appointed a new 30-member cabinet after the reinstatement of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last Sunday. Out of the 30 members, 29 members are from the ruling United National Front Alliance which includes Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP). The cabinet also includes the President who will function as the head of cabinet.
The new ministers took oaths in front of Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo after which the cabinet held their first cabinet meeting with the president and prime minister.

According to a statement released by the president’s media division, some of the key ministers included Mangala Samaraweera from the UNP who was appointed as the minister of Finance and Media, UNP MP Sagala Ratnayaka who was appointed as the minister of Ports and Shipping and Southern Development, and Wickremesinghe who was also appointed as the minister of National Polices, Economic Affairs, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Northern Province Development, Vocational Training and Skills Development and Youth Affairs.

UNP MP John Amaratunga was appointed as the minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs. UNF MP Rajitha Senaratne was appointed as the minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine and UNP MP Malik Samarawickrama was appointed as minister of Development Strategies, International Trade, Science, Technology and Research.

The appointment of the new cabinet will end a two-month long political crisis which erupted after President Sirisena on Oct. 26 sacked the cabinet and Wickremesinghe and appointed former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the post. Rajapaksa however resigned from his prime ministerial position last Saturday after the Supreme Court continued a temporary ban on him and the caretaker cabinet from functioning till the case was further heard in January. 

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