It can be easily speculated several additions to the panel of Ministers in recent future. Previously there were 51 cabinet Ministers and the final number can be close to it. Several opposition MPs are too eager to strengthen the hands of the President who is desperate for two third majority in the parliament.
Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa retained several most powerful Ministries under himself. The cabinet portfolios that are in the President's hand are Minister of Defence, Minister of Finance & Planning, Minister of Ports and Aviation and Minister of Highways.
Significantly, a Minister of Media and Information has not been appointed. As a result the subject has automatically come under the purview of the President.
However, Gampaha district MP Mervin Silva has been appointed as the Deputy Minister of Mass Media and Information.
The Deputy Ministers of the Ministries held by the President are as follows:
Chandrasiri Gajadeera – Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning
Rohitha Abeygunawardena - Deputy Minister of Ports and Aviation
Dayashritha Tissera - Deputy Minister of Ports and Aviation
Nirmala Kothalawala - Deputy Minister of Highways
President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s younger brother Basil Rajapaksa has been appointed into a powerful position of the Minister of Economic Development.
Basil Rajapaksa, identified as a hard worker, a meticulous planner and an astute manager is expected to handle the prospects of economic growth of Sri Lanka in the post-war period.
With the formation of the new Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministries of Nation Building held previously by five non cabinet Ministers have been scrapped. The Ministries for the development of certain Provinces have also been taken under this new Ministry.
The Ministry of Economic Development is so powerful that three Deputy Ministers have been appointed to it. They are Lakshman Yapa Abewardhana, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and Muttu Sivalingam.
Several notable persons have been omitted from the cabinet newly appointed by the President.
One of the most prominent absentee is Ceylon Workers’ Congress leader Arumugam Thondaman that held cabinet portfolios in all parliaments since 1994. However, CWC national list MP Muttu Sivalingam sore in as the Deputy Minister of Economic Development.
Former Science and Technology Minister Thissa Vitharana that represents the leftist Lanka Samasamaja Party has also been omitted from the cabinet. Sri Lanka Communist Party has been given one cabinet portfolio and a post of Deputy Minister for D.E.W. Gunasekara and Chandrasiri Gajadheera respectively. Communist Party elected one MP and it was given a national list slot too. Samasamaja Party also won one seat and Vitharana was appointed to parliament via national list. He was the Chairman of the All Party Representative Committee that the President appointed to seek solution for the ethnic problem.
Jathika Hela Urumaya that won two seats was given a national list slot as well but only Champika Ranawaka was given a cabinet post. Many expected Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero would swear in at least as a Deputy Minister.
A number of prominent figures of the ruling coalition that contested from Kandy district have not been given Minister posts citing a disciplinary investigation is underway regarding the election malpractices in Nawalapitiya electorate prompting the Election Commissioner to summon a re-poll. Former cabinet Ministers Keheliya Rambukwella and Sarath Amunugama are among them while S.B. Disanayaka and former non-cabinet Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage that topped the preferential votes in the district and Faizer Mustafa also expected Minister or Deputy Minister positions.
Former non-cabinet Minister Naven Disanayaka, a son of late United National Party stalwart Gamini Disanayaka, was also omitted from the panel of Ministers and Deputy Ministers.
Expect more interesting facts about the new cabinet.
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