Sri Lanka News

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Exodus from UNP to govt, Mahinda to reshuffle the pack

A group of UNP parliamentarians, including Navin Dissanayake and Milinda Moragoda, will cross over to the Government. President Mahinda Rajapakse has already decided on a cabinet reshuffle and to abolish non-cabinet portfolios in a bid to accommodate the defectors from the UNP, senior Government sources said yesterday (10).

The cabinet reshuffle is likely to be effected within the coming fortnight but a number of UNP crossover parliamentarians are to be sworn in as deputy ministers pending the cabinet reshuffle sources said.

They placed the number of crossover UNPers at seven.

Navin Dissanayake, son of former UNP leader Gamini Dissanayake, is tipped to be sworn in as Deputy Minister of Mahaveli Development or Foreign Affairs, while Anuradhapura District UNP parliamentarian W. B. Dissanayake, who crossed over last week, is to be sworn in as Deputy Minister of Highways shortly, sources said.

President Rajapakse summoned a meeting of senior cabinet ministers last Saturday (8) at the President’s House Kandy. Some Ministers were taken by chopper to Kandy, to discuss the new political situation. They were SLFP General Secretary and Mahaveli Development Minister Maithripala Sirisena, Chief Government Whip and Trade Minister Jeyraj Ferandopulle, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Education Minister Susil Premajayantha.

President Rajapakse has informed the ministers, who were summoned to Kandy, that a cabinet reshuffle was imminent and some changes in the system of non-cabinet portfolios were on the cards. But he had not gone into the details of what he had in mind.

President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga was also present, sources said.

Island by Anura Balasuriya, Piyasena Dissanayake and Ranil Dharmasena.


July 11, 2006 - Posted by | Media Journalism, News and politics, South Asia, World News

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