Cabinet reshuffle described as ‘bizarre’ – numbers swell

Cabinet reshuffle described as ‘bizarre’ – numbers swell

Written by Staff Writer

22 May, 2017 | 8:51 pm

Nine cabinet ministers and one state minister were sworn into their new positions before President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday.

While some of the new portfolios could be considered bizarre, pundits say that given Sri Lanka’s at times illogical amalgamation of ministries, these new portfolios were to be expected.

All cabinet, deputy and state ministers of the government were convened to the Presidential Secretariat at 8:30 a.m., today, Monday, May 22, by the President.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s presence was also observed at the meeting.

The cabinet reshuffle:

Mangala Samaraweera – Minister of Finance and Mass Media (Ex. Minister of Foreign Affairs)

Ravi Karunanayake – Minister of Foreign Affairs (Ex. Finance Minister)

Gayantha Karunathilaka – Minister of Lands and Parliamentary Reforms (Ex. Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media)

Arjuna Ranatunga – Minister of Petroleum Resources Development (Ex. Minister of Ports and Shipping)

Mahinda Samarasinghe – Minister of Ports and Shipping (Ex. Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training)

Chandima Weerakkody – Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training (Ex. Minister of Petroleum Resources Development)

John Amaratunga will continue to serve as the Subject Minister of Tourism and Christian Religious Affairs. The Ministry of Lands was previously overlooked by Minister John Amaratunga.

The subject of Kandyan Heritage was added to the portfolio of S. B. Dissanayake who is the Minister of Social Empowerment and Welfare.

W. D. J. Seneviratne was sworn in as the Minister of Sabaragamuwa Development,  in addition to the subjects of Labour and Trade Union Relations, which he already overlooks.

Thilak Marapana who resigned from the post of Minister of Law and Order, due to allegations raised against him over the Avant Garde controversy, was sworn in once again as the Minister of Development Assignments, adding one more seat to an already burgeoning Cabinet which is more than twice the size of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom, a country with a population of more than 65 million.

Mahinda Amaraweera was sworn in as the State Minister of Mahaweli Development, in addition to his portfolio of Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development.

With the latest reshuffle, the number of cabinet ministers has increased from 46 to 47.

This brings the number of ministers in the government to a total of 92, with 20 state ministers and 25 deputy ministers.

Addressing the cabinet following the conclusion of the swearing-in ceremony, President Sirisena said the cabinet was reshuffled to take the country forward with fresh hope.

The President, in his address, requested all the newly-appointed ministers to render their utmost dedication for the betterment of the country.

Following the cabinet reshuffle, several ministers who had been transferred to new portfolios, bid farewell to their staff and their offices.

Current Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ravi Karunanayake left his former office at the Ministry of Finance.

Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, also bid farewell to his old office at the Ministry of Vocational Training and Skills Development.

Meanwhile, the luxury motor-show which was seen entering the Presidential Secretariat came in to concern, as the ordinary citizens of the country struggles to access basic public services, while ministers sit on such comforts.



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