Colombo: Eighteen Cabinet Ministers were sworn in by President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat on Tuesday morning. This was the second Cabinet reshuffle that took place within the first four months of the year. Also, four acting Cabinet Ministers were sworn in on April 12 following the resignation of six SLFP Cabinet Ministers.
At Tuesday’s reshuffle, former Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe who was divested of the portfolio in August last year, was appointed as the Minister of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs. The Higher Education portfolio was previously held by Minister Kabir Hashim who was appointed as the Minister of Highways and Road Development.
Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka who was the Regional Development Minister, was sworn in as the Minister of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development. UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera, who was the Fisheries Minister, was appointed as the Minister of Agriculture while SLFP General Secretary who was the Minister of Agriculture was appointed as the Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management and Disaster Management.
Meanwhile, the two portfolios of Social Empowerment and Labour Relations which were previously held by UPFA Ministers, were given to two UNP Ministers. Accordingly, UNP Ministers P. Harrison was appointed as the Minister of Social Empowerment while Ravindra Samaraweera was appointed as the Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations.
Provincial Councils and Local Government Minister Faiszer Musthapha who was the acting Minister of Sports, was sworn in as the Provincial Councils and Local Government and Sports Minister.
Reshuffle of State Ministers, Deputy Ministers
The president's media division said that the reshuffle of State Ministers and Deputy Ministers would take place on Wednesday at the Presidential Secretariat. It said 18 Cabinet ministers were appointed on Tuesday and the remaining Cabinet ministers will continue to function in their portfolios.