Sri Lankan President, Maithripala Sirisena, on Tuesday reshuffled his unity government following months of political unrest between the two main coalition partners, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party led by Sirisena and the ruling United National Party led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The ministers were sworn in at a simple ceremony at the Presidential Secretariat in Capital Colombo.
Some of the notable changes included UNP Member of Parliament, Wijedasa Rajapakse, who was the former Justice Minister but was sacked by President Sirisena in August last year, to be sworn in as the new Minister of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs and Faizer Mustapha, to be sworn in as the Minister of Sports.
SLFP Member of Parliament, Duminda Dissanayake was sworn in as the new Minister of Disaster Management while retaining his portfolio of Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources while United National Front legislator, Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka was sworn in as Minister of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development.
UNP legislator Kabir Hashim was sworn in as Minister of Highways and Road Development while Ranjitha Madduma Bandara retained his portfolio of Law and Order and Minister of Public Administration and Management.
Minister Gayahtha Karunathilleke said while 18 ministers were sworn in on Tuesday, others will retain their same portfolios as their portfolios have not changed.
He said the number of ministers, in the new cabinet had also reduced.
The reshuffle came after six cabinet ministers from the SLFP quit the unity government last month, after they voted in favour of a no confidence motion on Prime Minister Wickremesinghe in Parliament.
While the six ministers had resigned, 10 other state and deputy ministers belonging to the SLFP also had vacated their positions.
The MPs will sit in the opposition benches in Parliament when Parliament re-reconvenes on May 8.
The following is the list of new Ministers –
Lakshman Kiriella – Minister of Public Enterprise and Kandy Development
Sarath Amunugama – Minister of Science, Technology and Research, Skills Development and Vocational Training and Hill Country Heritage
S.B. Navinna – Minister of Internal Affairs and Wayamba Development
Mahinda Amaraweera – Minister of Agriculture
Duminda Dissanayake – Minister of Disaster Management and Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources
P. Harrison – Minister of Social Empowerment
Kabir Hashim – Minister of Highways and Road Development
Ranjith Madduma Bandara – Minister of Public Administration and Management and Minister of Law and Order
Thalatha Athukorala – Minister of Justice and Prisons Reforms
Faiszer Mustapha – Minister of Sports and Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government
Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa – Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development and Rural Economy
D.M. Swaminathan – Minister of Rehabilitation, Resettlement, Northern Development and Hindu Religious Affairs
Sagala Ratnayake – Minister of Project Management, Youth Affairs and Southern Development
Mano Ganeshan – Minister of National Co-Existence, Reconciliation and Officials Languages
Daya Gamage – Minister of Social Welfare and Primary Industries
Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka – Minister of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development
Ravindra Samaraweera – Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations
Wijedasa Rajapakse – Minister of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs