Sri Lanka appoints a new 17-member Cabinet of Ministers, just over two weeks after the old cabinet ministers resigned en mass.
The 17 new Cabinet Ministers were sworn in before the President at the President’s House:
1. Dinesh Gunawardena – Public Administration, Internal Affairs, Provincial Councils & Local Government.
2. Douglas Devananda – Fisheries
3. Dr. Ramesh Pathirana – Education and Plantation Industries
4. Prasanna Ranatunga – Public Security & Tourism
5. Dilum Amunugama – Transport & Industries
6. Kanaka Herath – Highways
7. Vidura Wickramanayake – Labour
8. Janaka Wakkumbura – Agriculture & Irrigation
9. Shehan Semasinghe – Trade & Samurdhi Development
10. Mohan Priyadarshana De Silva – Water Supply
11. Wimalaweera Dissanayake – Wildlife & Forest Resources Conservation
12. Kanchana Wijesekera – Power & Energy
13. Thenuka Vidanagamage -Sports and Youth Affairs
14. Dr. Nalaka Godahewa – Media
15. Professor Channa Jayasumana – Health
16. Naseer Ahamed – Environment
17. Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon – Ports and Shipping
Old guard dropped?
Notably President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s strong supportive MPs have not been granted posts in the new Cabinet that was appointed today.
Vocal MP Johnston Fernando held the post of Minister of Highways in the previous 4- member Cabinet has been removed from his post.
Other strong supporters Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Rohitha Abeygunawardena, former Ministers Keheliya Rambukwella, Sarath Weerasekara, Gamini Lokuge, Dulles Alahapperuma, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, and Vasudeva Nanayakkara have also not been included in the new Cabinet.
Except for the President and Prime Minister members of the Rajapaksa family also were axed namely Namal Rajapaksa, Chamal Rajapaksa, Basil Rajapaksa, and Shasheendra Rajapaksa.
Sri Lanka’s cabinet members resigned en masse from their positions as anti-government protests escalated on 2nd April.
All 26 ministers aside from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his elder brother Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down during a late-night meeting.
Despite widespread protests the Rajapaksa brothers defiantly have stayed on in their respective positions as President and Prime Minister.