Cabinet revision postponement causes political tension
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 19 February 2002, 19:26 GMT]
The Presidential Secretariat Tuesday at the eleventh hour postponed indefinitely the swearing in ceremony of the seven non-cabinet ministers of the United National Front government as cabinet ministers. Reasons were not given for the postponement, ruling United National Front sources said. However political sources said that the main reason for the sudden postponement was that the President had opposed the appointment of Mr.S.B.Dissanayake, who was her one time ally and now an arch rival, as the Minister of Samurdhi (Poverty Alleviation) in the UNF government.
Irritated UNF leaders due to several postponements of the swearing in ceremony have told their high command that new cabinet ministers should not take oaths before the President, party sources said.
Ministers to be elevated to the cabinet rank are: Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Milinda Morogoda, Minister of Economic Affairs and Information Technology, Rajitha Senaretna, Minister of Lands, Karunasena Kodituwakku, Minister of Human Resources Development, Education and Cultural Affairs, Imtiaz Bakeer Markar, Minister of Mass Communications, Periyasamy Chandrasekaran, Minister of Upcountry Development and Infrastructure.
The seventh minister to be sworn in as Minister for Samurdhi (Poverty Alleviation) is Mr.S.B.Dissanayake who is presently holding the portfolio of Agriculture and Livestock Development.