Sri Lankan president appoints 17 cabinet ministers amid calls for govt ouster
Amid anti-government protests in the wake of the economic crisis, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday appointed 17 cabinet ministers.
It comes days after the dismissal of several cabinet ministers as the Rajapaksa government had been facing heat over spiralling inflation, acute shortage of essential items and long power cuts that lasts almost a day.
President Goatabaya had even tried to form a united government and had called on the opposition members. But all of them refused and have now moved a no-confidence motion against his government.
The Sri Lankan parliament is now going to meet on April 19 with new Cabinet ministers even as the opposition would most likely to step up pressure on the president to resign.
Some of the ministers who had resigned earlier have now been re-appointed.
1. Dinesh Gunawardena – Public Administration, Internal Affairs, Provincial Councils & Local Government.
2. Douglas Devananda – Fisheries
3. Dr. Ramesh Pathirana – Education and Plantation Industries
4. Prasanna Ranatunga – Public Security & Tourism
5. Dilum Amunugama – Transport & Industries
6. Kanaka Herath – Highways
7. Vidura Wickramanayake – Labour
8. Janaka Wakkumbura – Agriculture & Irrigation
9. Shehan Semasinghe – Trade & Samurdhi Development
10. Mohan Priyadarshana De Silva – Water Supply
11. Wimalaweera Dissanayake – Wildlife & Forest Resources Conservation
12. Kanchana Wijesekera – Power & Energy
13. Thenuka Vidanagamage -Sports and Youth Affairs
14. Dr. Nalaka Godahewa – Media
15. Professor Channa Jayasumana – Health
16. Naseer Ahamed – Environment
17. Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon – Ports and Shipping
The current economic crisis stems from low foreign reserves that has crippled Sri Lanka’s ability to import to essential items, including fuel.
Last week, the country temporarily announced a default on its foreign debts. A payment on some of those bond debts are due today.
The Colombo Stock Exchange has also suspended trading for five days starting today (Monday) amid fears of a market collapse.
President Gotabaya has so far refused to step down despite mounting pressure from the opposition and the public.