Following the mass resignation of his Cabinet ministers, President Rajapaksa on Monday named at least four ministers, to maintain legitimacy and stability of Parliament and other functions of the country until a full Cabinet is appointed, even as he asked opposition members to join a unity government in the face of protests against an economic crisis.
The President replaced his brother Basil Rajapaksa and named Ali Sabry, as previous Minister of Justice, as the new Finance Minister, according to President’s media division.
The four new ministers were sworn in before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat today.
Leader of the House Dinesh Gunawardena was sworn in as the Minister of Education and Chief Government Whip Johnston Fernando was sworn in as the Minister of Highways, Colombo Post reported.
Prof. GL Peiris was re-appointed as the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Leader of the House, Dinesh Gunawardena said the President made these appointments this morning to maintain government affairs until a full permanent Cabinet is appointed.
The President has already requested all political parties represented in Parliament to contribute to find a solution to the national crisis in the country. A permanent cabinet will be appointed after discussions with the political parties, the Colombo Post added further.
Meanwhile Rajapaksa has said that the political parties in the country to accept ministerial portfolios and work together to find a solution to the national crisis.
In a letter, the President said that the current crisis was the result of several economic and global concerns and that a solution needs to be found within the democratic process of the country.
As one of the leading democracies in Asia, it needs to be addressed within the framework of democracy itself, the letter stated, adding that “together we must work together in the national interest for benefit of citizens and future generations.”
On Sunday, 26 Sri Lankan Cabinet Ministers resigned en masse from their positions amid rising public anger against the government over the economic crisis.
All 26 of them signed a general letter, consenting to resign paving the way for a new Cabinet to be formed, the English language newspaper Daily Mirror reported.
Mahinda Rajapaksa will continue to be in the office and all other members of the Cabinet have tendered their resignations to the PM, News Wire reported.
Meanwhile, a 36-hour long curfew that was imposed on Sri Lanka on Saturday evening at 6 pm was lifted on Monday morning at 6 am but the country is still under a state of emergency.
The country’s government on Saturday blocked access to social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and YouTube, but lifted the ban on Sunday afternoon after the PM’s son Namal Rajapaksa spoke against it.
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