Three new ministers

Published : 8:09 am  August 25, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Kelum Bandara
United National Party (UNP) parliamentarians Mangala Samaraweera, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and D.M. Swaminathan were yesterday sworn in as ministers by President Maithripala Sirisena.

They were sworn in advance of the rest of the Cabinet after being assigned to hold talks with officials of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) due here yesterday.

Mr. Samaraweera was sworn in as Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Rajapakshe as Justice Minister and Mr. Swaminathan as Rehabilitation Minister. They held the same portfolios during the six-month tenure of the previous government.

Mr. Rajapakshe told Daily Mirror that they took their oaths at 11.30 a.m. before the President.

“We have been assigned as the subject ministers to hold talks with the UNHRC delegation,” he said.

The UNHRC delegation was expected to arrive in the country yesterday. UN Assistant Secretary of State Nisa Desai Biswal will arrive in the country today ahead of the next UNHRC session.  The Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is expected to hand over a copy of its report to the President on allegations of human rights violations and accountability during the armed conflict.

The report will be taken up for discussion at next month’s UNHRC sessions.  The previous government led by the United National Party (UNP) agreed to set up a domestic mechanism to deal with the findings of the report.   The UNP has been elected to office with the highest number of seats and will form a national unity government for at least two years.