ECONOMYNEXT – With prospects of an all-party government in crisis-hit Sri Lanka looking increasingly dim, 37 MPs representing the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) have been appointed as state ministers before President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
SLFP MP Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and SLPP MP Shehan Semasinghe were sworn in as State Ministers of Finance before the president Thursday September 08 morning. Both have served as state ministers of finance in different governments.
The new appointments came after repeated calls by President Wickremesinghe for an all-party government were either ignored or avoided by opposition parties. Wickremesinghe sought the support of all parties represented in parliament, particularly the main opposition the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) and party seniors like Harsha de Silva, to see Intentional Monetary Fund (IMF)-recommended economic reforms through, but the SJB, the Tamil National Alliance and the leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)-led Nationl People’s Power (NPP) among other parties declined.
However, one SJB MP – Aravindh Kumar – appears to have defected to the government. He was appointed as State Minister of Education.
SLPP MP Janaka Wakkaumbara was appointed as State Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government.
Other appointments are as follows:
Mohan Priyadarshana De Silva, State Minister of Agriculture
Lasantha Alagiyawanna, State Minister of Transport
Vijitha Berugoda, State Minister of Piriven Education
Lohan Ratwatte, State Minister of Plantation Industries
Sanath Nishantha, State Minister of Water Supply
Indika Anurudhdha, State Minister of Power and Energy
Siripala Gamlath, State Minister of Highways
Shantha Bandara, State Minister of Media
Prasanna Ranaweera, State Minister of Small and Medium Scale Industries
D V Chanaka, State Minister of Wildlife and Forest Conservation
D B Herath, State Minister of Livestock Development
Shasheendra Rajapaksa, State Minister of Irrigation
Dr Seetha Arambepola, State Minister of Health
Ashoka Priyantha, State Minister of Home Affairs
Aravind Kumar, State Minister of Education
Geetha Kumarasinghe, State Minister of Women and Child Affairs
Dr Suren Raghavan, State Minister of Higher Education
Kanaka Herath, State Minster of Technology