43 Ministers sworn in

Published : 9:40 am  September 5, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 

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Forty two Cabinet Ministers of the newly set up National Unity Government (NUG) were sworn in by President Maithripala Sirisena at a ceremony held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday. Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera was sworn in just prior to the visit of Ms. Nisha Biswal to Sri Lanka.

The President who later addressed the gathering said the National Unity Government led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was formed based on a consensus reached by the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) to carry forward the mandate he received on January 8.

He said the UNP-led NUG would put into practice the national consensus reached by two major political parties to achieve the aspirations of the people and make Sri Lanka a prosperous, peaceful and united country.

“The national government will initially function for two years and allow the stakeholders to look back, take stock, review the performance of the NUG and decide whether it should continue to function for the next three years as well or disband and go their separate ways,” he said. “We came across new political challenges during the past eight months. The 100-day programme launched by me on becoming President with the backing of the UNP and several social and religious organizations has been a success and was able to pass on many benefits to the people,” he said.


"The national government will initially function for two years and allow the stakeholders to look back, take stock, review the performance of the NUG and decide whether it should continue to function for the next three years as well or disband and go their separate ways…."


The President said the minority government formed under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was a temporary arrangement amid the opposition UPFA having a two-thirds majority in parliament.

“However, with UPFA support the government was able to take several positive steps such as enactment of the 19th Amendment, the presentation of the mini-budget and reducing the prices of a number of essential commodities such as fuel, transport, milk powder and gas under the 100-day programme. These measures helped fulfil the pledges given under the January 8 mandate,” the President said. “During the Parliamentary polls, we talked about a national government between the UNP and the SLFP.

The opportunity has been created for such a government with an MoU signed by the two major political parties. The incumbent government expects to resolve national issues and achieve speedier economic progress for Sri Lanka on consensus and cooperation with all the political parties represented in parliament under the policies adopted by the national government.”

The selecting of Cabinet Ministers is an extremely difficult and tedious task but when the government is a multi-party national government, the job is more strenuous and challenging because those who are not appointed to the post of at least a deputy ministers are unhappy. All UNP and SLFP governments had to face such grave situations in the past.

The new Cabinet of Ministers comprises 26 from the UNP, 15 from the SLFP and seven from other political parties that contested under the elephant symbol.

“However, this government has given the opportunity to all parliamentarians to participate in governance through the Parliamentary Committee Systems and the District Development Councils that would be set up shortly. All MPs will be appointed to these committees giving them an opportunity to serve their people and make Sri Lanka a prosperous and peaceful country within the next five years.

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