Newly-sworn in Cabinet of Ministers
- SLFP seniors John Seneviratne, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya not considered for posts
By Kelum Bandara
A host of non-career politicians who were elected for the first time received authority in the execution of the new government’s policies since they have been appointed as state ministers and chairpersons of the District Coordinating Committees.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa swore in 28 Cabinet Ministers, 39 state ministers and appointed 23 DCC Chairmen.
Colombo District MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe had been listed as the state minister for higher education, however, he did not accept the portfolio. Two Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) MPs - Nimal Siripala de Silva and Mahinda Amaraweera received Cabinet posts. Besides, two other SLFP MPs Dayasiri Jayasekara and Duminda Dissanayake were appointed state ministers.
In the appointment of state ministers, most MPs who had served in the previous Parliament under the banner of the Joint Opposition have been considered. However, some members of ‘Viyath Maga’ which is the professions’ front that promoted President Rajapaksa as the then presidential candidate were also given similar posts. Among them are Prof. Channa Jayasumana was appointed the Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation, Dr. Seetha Arambepola as Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovation, Ajith Nivard Cabraal as Finance, Capital Markets, Public Enterprise Reforms and Dr. Nalaka Godahewa as State Minister of Urban Development, Coast Conservation, Waste Disposal and Public Sanitation.
National List MP Ali Sabry is the only newcomer to be appointed as Cabinet Minister. He was sworn in before the President as the Justice Minister. President Rajapaksa retained the Defence Ministry, where Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa kept the Finance Ministry with him. SLFP seniors such as Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and John Seneviratne have not been considered for any post this time.
Hambantota district MP Namal Rajapaksa who is also the Prime Minister’s son took oaths as the Sports and Youth Affairs Minister.
District Coordinating Committee Chairpersons to 23 administrative districts
Colombo District - Pradeep Undugoda
Gampaha District - Sahan Pradeep Withana
Kalutara District - Sanjeewa Edirimanne
Kandy District - Wasantha Yapa Bandara
Matale District - Nalaka Bandara Kottegoda
Nuwara Eliya District - S.B Dissanayake
Galle District - Sampath Athukorala
Matara District - Nipuna Ranawaka
Hambantota District - Upul Galappaththi
Jaffna District - Angajan Ramanathan
Kilinochchi District - Douglas Devananda
Vavuniya District - K. Dilipan
Mannar and Mullaitivu Districts - Cader Mastan
Trincomalee - Kapila Athukorala
Ampara - D. Weerasinghe
Kurunegala - Gunapala Ratnasekera
Puttalam - Ashoka Priyantha
Anuradhapura - H. Nandasena
Polonnaruwa - Amarakeerthi Athukorala
Badulla - Sudarshana Denipitiya
Monaragala - Kumarasiri Rathnayaka
Ratnapura - Akila Ellawala
Kegalla - Rajika Wickramasinghe