Tamil Diplomat

New Maithri cabinet appointed

The new cabinet of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, took oaths at the Presidential Secretariat this evening.

A 27 member cabinet took oaths before the President while Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers also took oaths.

In the new cabinet, President Maithripala Sirisena holds the post of Defence Minister while Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe holds the posts of Minister of Policy Development and Economic Development.

Mangala Samaraweera was appointed the External Affairs Minister, Ravi Karunanayake Finance Minister, Gayantha Karunathilake the Minister of Media and Wijeydasa Rajapaksa the Minister of Justice.

Arjuna Ranathunga, who was widely speculated to be appointed the Sports Minister, was appointed Minister of Ports and Shipping, while Rajitha Senaratna was appointed the Minister of Health and Champika Ranawaka the Minister of Power and Energy.

Speaking at the end of the ceremony, President Maithripala Sirisena said that the new cabinet will be in place only for 100 days, after which Parliament elections will be held.

He said that some Ministers may not be happy with the portfolios they have received but he reminded them that after the Parliament elections a long term cabinet will be appointed.

The President also said that he and the Prime Minister, as well as leaders of other political parties in his coalition, will discuss at a later date how to fill some Ministries not allocated to anyone today.

He also warned that his coalition leaders had agreed that stern action should be taken against any Minister in the new cabinet found to be corrupt during their tenure.

The President also said that investigations will be launched and legal action taken against anyone, no matter which political party they represent, over pre and post election violence.

The opposition United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) had today accused supporters of Sirisena and his coalition of attacking UPFA supporters following the election.