Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake are to swap portfolios in a Cabinet reshuffle scheduled to take place this morning at the Presidential Secretariat, it is learnt.
As Daily Mirror exclusively reported in its Saturday edition, Mr. Samaraweera will take oaths as Finance Minister and Mr. Karunanayake as the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe notified a few of the proposed changes to the UNP parliamentary group at a meeting conducted late last night at Temple Trees. Among the other changes announced, Media Minister Gayantha Karunatilake is set to be given the portfolio of Land Minister.
The Prime Minister also announced that MP Tilak Marapana, who resigned from his portfolio earlier, would be brought back into the Cabinet in the reshuffle that takes place today (22). It is learnt that Mr. Karunanayake is opposed to the new post assigned to him. He has reportedly expressed his discontent.
According to sources, President Maithripala Sirisena has insisted that these changes take place in the Cabinet. Apart from portfolios held by UNP MPs, there are changes expected to take place in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) as well. Speculation was rife that Petroleum and Petroleum Gas Minister Chandima Weerakkody would be stripped of his post to be assigned a new one. Additionally, Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake is likely to be given further responsibilities.
There were last minute discussions between the President and the Prime Minister on the proposed changes. (Kelum Bandara)