Five junior Ministers will also get their ministerial posts
By Sandun A Jayasekera
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has met President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday to discuss the reinstatement of Muslim Cabinet Ministers and the two leaders have agreed to have a further discussion to sort out a few contentious issues, a senior Cabinet Minister said.
“My gut feeling is that all cabinet Ministers, state Ministers and deputies who resigned on June 3rd would be able to take oaths within this week as there is no much difference between the President and Prime Minister on the issue,” the Minister told Daily Mirror yesterday.
Besides, the Cabinet Ministers are on records saying that they would return to the Cabinet after a month if there were no substantiate evidence against Minister Bathiudeen, he said.
The resignations came in the wake of a protest campaign by Buddhist monks, the civil society and the media and a ‘fast unto death’ by MP Athuraliye Rathana Thera, demanding the resignation of Minister Bathiudeen and Western and Eastern Province Governors Azath Salley and M.L.A.M. Hizbullah over allegations that they supported the National Thowheed Jama’at (NTJ).
Ministers Hakeem, Hashim and Haleem also tendered their resignation to President Sirisena when Minister Bathiudeen resigned his ministerial post.
Five junior Muslim Ministers also resigned in support of the four ministers. They are State Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine, Mohamed Faizal, State Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government, Mohamed Hareez, State Minister of Social Empowerment Ali Zahir Moulana and Agriculture and State Minister of Irrigation and Rural Economic Affairs Amir Ali Zeyed Mohamed also resigned in support of three cabinet Ministers.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe declined to name nominees to vacated cabinet posts but President Sirisena appointed a State Minister and two Deputy Ministers, Budhika Pathirana, Lucky Jayawardana and Anoma Ganage as acting cabinet Ministers to fill the vacancies created by the resignation of three Muslim Ministers, on June 10th.
The five junior Ministers will also get their ministerial posts back after the four cabinet Ministers took oaths, the Minister added.