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UNP Dissidents and SLMC Joins Government Cabinet Reshuffle: 51 Cabinet Ministers

The first major cabinet reshuffle of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government took place on today morning at Presidential Secretariat.

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The first major cabinet reshuffle of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government took place on today morning at Presidential Secretariat.

The new Cabinet of Ministers including Ten members of the UNP have sworn in as Cabinet Ministers this morning before President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Over 20 members of UNF, led by Karu Jayasooriya, the former deputy leader of UNP have defected to the government.

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress led by Rauff Hakeem also joined the government.

List of Ministers as follows:
1. Ratnasiri Wickremanayake Internal Administration (Prime Minister)
2. Anura Bandaranaike National Heritage
3. D.M. Jayaratne Plantation Industries
4. Nimal Siripala de Silva Health care and Nutrition
5. Mangala Samaraweera Ports & Aviation
6. A.H.M. Fowzie Petroleum & Petroleum Resources Development
7. Jeyaraj Fernandopulle Highways & Road Development
8. Maithripala Sirisena Agri Dev. & Agrarian Service Dev.
9. Susil Premajayantha Education
10. Karu Jayasuriya Public Admin & Home Affairs
11. Arumugan Thondaman Youth Emp. & Socio Economics Dev.
12. Rauff Hakeem Posts & Telecommunication
13. Dinesh Gunawardena Urban Dev. & Sacred Area Dev.
14. Douglass Devananda Social Dev. & Social Welfare
15. Ferial Ashraff Housing & Common Amenities
16. P. Chandrasekaran Community Dev. & Social Inequity Eradication
17. A.L.M. Athaullah Water Supply & Drainage
18. Prof. Tissa Vitarana Science & Technology
19. D.E.W. Gunasekara Constitutional Affairs & National Integration
20. Risath Bathiyutheen Resettlement & Disaster Relief Services
21. P. Dayaratne Plan Implementation
22. R.M. Dharmadasa Banda Supplementary Affairs
23. M.H. Mohammed Parliamentary Affairs
24. Prof. G.L. Peiris Export Development & International Trade
25. John Seneviratne Power & Energy
26. Sumedha Jayasena Child Development & Women�s Empowerment
27. Dr. Sarath Amunugama Enterprise Development & Investment Promotion
28. Milroy Fernando Public Estate Management & Development
29. Jeewan Kumaratunga Land & Land Development
30. Pavithra Wanniarachchi Youth Affairs
31. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa Mass Media & Information
32. Tissa Karalliyadde Indigenous Medicine
33. Athauda Seneviratne Labour Relations & Manpower
34. Gamini Lokuge Sports & Public Recreation
35. Bandula Gunawardena Trade Mktg Dev, Co-operatives & Consumer Affairs
36. Mahinda Samarasinghe Disaster Management & Human Rights
37. Rajitha Senaratne Construction & Engineering Services
38. Mahinda Wijesekara Special Projects
39. Milinda Moragoda Tourism
40. Keheliya Rambukwella Foreign Employment Promotion & Welfare
41. Piyasena Gamage Vocational & Technical Training
42. S.B. Navinne Rural Industries & Self-Employment Promotion
43. Janaka Bandara Tennakoon Local Govt. & Provincial Council
44. Felix Perera Fisheries & Aquatic Resources
45. C.B. Rathnayake Livestock Development
46. Rohitha Bogollagama Foreign Affairs
47. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena Cultural Affairs
48. Prof. Wishwa Warnapala Higher Education
49. Chamal Rajapakse Irrigation & Water Management
50. Kumara Welgama Industrial Development
51. Dullas Alahaperuma Transport

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Political

Sri Lanka should accept democratic values; ex-president says

(NIDAHASA News) Sri Lanka's ex president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga says that the government and people should uphold democratic values in order to protect the country from international interference.

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(NIDAHASA News) Sri Lanka's ex president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga says that the government and people should uphold democratic values in order to protect the country from international interference.

“If Sri Lanka wants to save itself in Geneva, the Sri Lankan Government and its people have to conduct themselves in accordance with universally accepted democratic norms and standards. They will save themselves automatically if they do this. That is how we can help them,” Kumaratunga told media soon after her meeting with Leader of Opposition Ranil Wikramasinghe at his office yesterday (11).

The focus of discussion was on her recent initiative on religious harmony in the country. However, no political matters were discussed in the meeting with Opposition Leader, Kumaratunga said.

In recent months, Chandrika was working with South Asian Policy & Research Institute (SAPRI) to promote religious harmony. SAPRI is a non-government think tank where religious leaders and intellectuals came together to work on recommendations for achieving religious harmony in Sri Lanka.

Kumaratunga said she has also sought a similar meeting with President Mahinda Rajapakse but was to receive a response.

“I am grateful to the UNP (United National Party) leader for giving us time for the discussion. We have received responses from some government ministers who are willing to meet us. We will later brief the public on the importance of interfaith coexistence and how this will help the country,” she said.

She noted that it was important that the issue of attacks of religious minorities figured in a draft resolution on Sri Lanka presented to the UN Human Rights Council currently meeting in Geneva.

“It is important, yes…because whether it is the U.S. or any [other] country is not important. What is important is that it has been presented to the United Nations organisations and its relevant authorities.” she said.

Meanwhile Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said his party would support Kumaratunga and SAPRI in its efforts to create unity among all religions in Sri Lanka.

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Political

National unity govt sworn in; opposition leader from TNA

(NIDAHASA News) Sri Lanka's new cabinet sworn in today (04), forming the first ever national unity government in country's 67 year old parliamentary history. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) became the main opposition party, making an ethnic Tamil the opposition leader after 32 years.

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(NIDAHASA News) Sri Lanka's new cabinet sworn in today (04), forming the first ever national unity government in country's 67 year old parliamentary history. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) became the main opposition party, making an ethnic Tamil the opposition leader after 32 years.

The new government led by Prime minister Ranil Wickramesinghe includes ministers from both main political parties. 43 ministers today took oath before the president; few more to sworn in in coming days.

Following the parileament election, leader of United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) President Maithripala Sirisena and United National Party (UNP) leader and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe came to an agreement to govern together for at least two years. Their aim will be to face together war crimes allegations originating from the decades-long civil war that ended six years ago and to secure enough votes in Parliament to adopt a new constitution with political reforms and power sharing with ethnic minority Tamils.

As two main parties form the government together, TNA, the third-largest force with 16 seats in the 225-member assembly becomes the main opposition party.

R. Sampanthan is the first parliamentarian from the ethnic minority to lead the opposition since 1983, when Tamil legislators resigned en masse to protest against a statute that compelled them to denounce separatism.

A small breakaway faction of UPFA which still remain loyal to former president, MP Mahinda Rajapaka chosen to remain in opposition. They opposed Sampanthan’s appointment, arguing they should lead the opposition. However Speaker Karu Jayasuriya dismissed their claim, as he did not receive such request from UPFA leadership.

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Political

UNP wins election; Voters say no to Rajapaksa's comeback bid

(NIDAHASA News) Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) secured majority in yesterday's (17) parliament poll, ending former President Rajapaksa's comeback dream.

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(NIDAHASA News) Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) secured majority in yesterday's (17) parliament poll, ending former President Rajapaksa's comeback dream.

“A majority has mandated to continue the Jan. 8 revolution,” Ranil Wickremesinghe said in an statement, a referring to the presidential election earlier this year that ended Rajapaksa's decade-long regime.

UNP secured 106 out of 225 seats in the parliament; Rajapaksa's United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) got 95 seats while left-wing People's Liberation Front (JVP) securing 6. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) alias ITAK got 16 seats.

However UNP will have to seek support from other parties to form a majority government with 113 seats in hand.

The first election to hold after fall of Rajapaksa regime, which was accused of heavily abusing their power, this was seen as the most peaceful election in recent history.

Mahinda Rajapaksa, who lost January's snap presidential poll to once his minister Mathiripala Sirisena, was hoping to comeback as the Prime Minister. Sirisena was force to grand nominations to former president due to the pressure inside the party, but openly stated his disgust over Rajapaksa's return.

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