By Sheain Fernandopulle
Even though the ‘Viyathmaga’ group of professionals were given prominence during the campaign trail since the presidential election, no members have been given appointments in the Cabinet of Ministers.
The group rose to prominence, with pledges to take the country forward. However, the members of the professional group have not been given due distinction as expected.
‘Viyathmaga’ is a network of academics, professionals, and entrepreneurs who contested the General Election with expectations to render their utmost service for the growth of the country. According to the overall results of the General Election, eight ‘Viyathmaga’ candidates contested the election and were elected from respective districts.
Rear Admiral (Retd.) Sarath Weerasekera, who contested from the Colombo District, secured 328,092 votes topped the district. Gampaha District candidate Dr. Nalaka Godahewa secured 325,479 votes, obtaining the highest number of votes of the district. Prof. Channa Jayasumana who contested from the Anuradhapura District polled 133,980 votes. Senior Lecturer Gunapala Rathnasekara, garnered 141,991 votes from the Kurunegala District, Engineer Nalaka Bandara Kottegoda, obtained 71,404 votes from the Matale District, Dr. Upul Galappaththi, who contested from the Hambantota District, secured 63,369 votes, Dr. Gayashan Nawananda, received 45,384 votes contesting from the Monaragala District, Dr. Thilak Rajapaksha obtained 54,203 votes from the Ampara District. Meanwhile, Dr. Seetha Arambepola was named as one of the National List seat members from the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and was appointed State Minister of Skills Development.
However, Sarath Weerasekara was sworn in as the State Minister of Provincial and Local Government Affairs while Nalaka Godahewa was appointed as the State Minister of Urban Development, Coast Conservation, Waste Disposal and Public Hygiene.
Moreover, Channa Jayasumana was sworn in as the State Minister of Drug Manufacturing, Supply and Regulation, Engineer Nalaka Bandara Kottegoda and Dr. Upul Galappaththi were appointed as District Coordinating Committee Chairpersons for the Matale and Hambantota districts respectively.
Notably, Senior Lecturer Gunapala Rathnasekara, Dr. Gayashan Nawananda and Dr. Thilak Rajapaksha were not awarded any portfolios.
- Eight ‘Viyathmaga’ candidates contested the election and were elected from respective districts