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New Ministers sworn in before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

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Cabinet Ministers

 1. His Excellency President Gotabaya Rajapaksa – Defence

2. Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa – Finance

3. Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa – Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs

4. Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa – Urban Development and Housing

5. Nimal Siripala De Silva – Labour

6. G.L Peiris – Education

7. Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi – Health

8. Dinesh Gunawardena – Foreign Relations

9. Douglas Devananda – Fisheries

10. Gamini Lokuge – Transport

11. Bandula Gunawardena – Trade

12. R.M.C.B. Rathnayake – Wildlife and Forest Conservation

13. Janaka Bandara Tennakoon – Public Services, Provincial Councils and Local Government

14. Keheliya Rambukwella – Mass Media

15. Chamal Rajapaksa – Irrigation

16. Dullas Alahapperuma – Power

17. Johnston Fernando – Highways

18. Wimal Weerawansa – Industries

19. Mahinda Amaraweera – Environment

20. S.M. Chandrasena – Land

21. Mahindananda Aluthgamage – Agriculture

22. Vasudeva Nanayakkara – Water Supply

23. Udaya Prabhath Gammanpila – Energy

24. Ramesh Pathirana – Plantation

25. Prasanna Ranatunga – Tourism

26. Rohitha Abeygunawardena – Ports and Shipping

27. Namal Rajapaksa – Youth and Sports Affairs

28. PC Ali Sabry – Justice

 

State Ministers

 

1. Chamal Rajapaksa – Internal Security, Home Affairs and Disaster Management

2. Piyankara Jayaratne – Foreign Employment Promotions and Market Diversification

3. Duminda Dissanayake – Solar, Wind, Grid Power Generation Projects Development

4. Dayasiri Jayasekara -Batik, Handloom Fabrics and Local Apparel Products

5. Lasantha Alagiyawanna – Cooperative Services, Marketing Development and Consumer Protection

6. Sudarshani Fernandopulle -Prisons Reforms and Prisoners’ Rehabilitation

7. Arundika Fernando – Coconut, Fishtail Palm, Palmyra and Rubber product Promotion and Allied Industrial Production and Export Diversification

8. Nimal Lansa – Rural Road and other Infrastructure Facilities

9. Jayantha Samaraweera – Warehouse Facilities, Container Yards, Port Supply Facilities and Boats and Shipping Industry Development

10. Roshan Ranasinghe – Land Management Affairs, State Business Lands and Property Development

11. Kanaka Herath – Company Establishment Reforms, Tea Estate Crops, Tea Factory Modernization and Tea Export Diversification

12. Vidura Wickramanayake – Promotion of National Heritage, Performing Arts and Rural Artists

13. Janaka Wakkumbura – Development of Sugarcane, Maize, Cashew, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves, Betel Production and Promotion of Allied Products and Export

14. Vijitha Berugoda – Dhamma Schools, Bhikku Education, Pirivenas and Buddhist Universities

15. Shehan Semasinghe – Development of Samurdhi Home Economy, Microfinance, Self-Employment and Businesses and Under-Utilized State Resources

16. Mohan de Silva – Regulation of Fertilizer Production and Supply, use of Chemical Fertilizers and Pesticides

17. Lohan Ratwatte – Gem and Jewelry related Industries

18. Dilum Amunugama – Vehicle Regulation, Bus Transport Services and Carriages and Automotive Industries

19. Wimalaweera Dissanayake – Wildlife Conservation Protection Programmes including Electric Fence and Ditch Construction and Re-Forestation and Wildlife Resources Development

20. Tharaka Balasooriya – Regional Cooperation

21. Indika Anurudda – Rural Home Construction and Building Materials Industry Promotion

22. Kanchana Wijesekera – Ornamental Fish, Freshwater Fish and Shrimp Farming Development, Multi-day Fishing and Fish Export

23. Sanath Nishantha – Development of Rural and Regional Drinking Water Supply Projects

24. Siripala Gamlath – Development of Common Infrastructure Facilities of Settlements and Canals in Mahaweli Zones

25. Sarath Weerasekara – Provincial Councils and Local Government Affairs

26. Anuradha Jayaratne – Development of Rural Paddy Fields and Associated Tanks, Reservoirs and Irrigation

27. Sadasivam Viyalendran – Professional Development of Postal Services and Mass Media

28. Thenuka Vidanagamage – Rural and School Sports Infrastructure Promotion

29. Sisira Jayakody – Promotion of Indigenous Medicine, Development of Rural Ayurvedic Hospitals and Community Health

30. Piyal Nishantha de Silva – Women and Child Development, Pre-School and Primary Education, School Infrastructure and School Services

31. Prasanna Ranaweera – Cane, Brass, Clay Furniture and Rural Industry Promotion

32. D. V. Chanaka – Development of Aviation and Export Zones

33. D. B. Herath – Livestock and Farm Promotion and Dairy and Eggs Related Industries

34. Shasheendra Rajapaksa – Paddy and Cereals, Organic Food, Vegetables, Fruits, Chilies, Onions and Potatoes, Seed Production and High Tech Agriculture

35. Nalaka Godahewa – Urban Development, Coast Conservation, Waste Disposal and Public Sanitation

36. Jeewan Thondaman – Estate Housing and Community Infrastructure Facilities

37. Ajith Nivard Cabraal – Finance and Capital Markets and Public Enterprise Reforms

38. Seetha Arambepola – Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovation

39. Channa Jayasumana – Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation

 

District Coordinating Committee Chairmen:

 

1. Pradeep Udugoda – Colombo

2. Sahan Pradeep Vithana – Gampaha

3. Sanjeewa Edirimanna – Kalutara

4. Wasantha Yapa Bandara -Kandy

5. N. Nalaka Bandara Kottegoda – Matale

6. S.B. Dissanayake – Nuwara Eliya

7. Sampath Athukorala – Galle

8. Nipuna Ranawaka -Matara

9. Upul Galappaththi -Hambantota

10. Angajan Ramanathan -Jaffna

11. Douglas Devananda -Kilinochchi

12. K. Dileepa – Vavuniya

13 K. Kader Masthan -Mannar and Mullaitivu

14. D. Weerasinghe – Ampara

15. Kapila Athukorala -Trincomalee

16 Gunapala Rathnasekara -Kurunegala

17. Ashoka Priyantha – Puttalam

18. H. Nandasena -Anuradhapura

19. Amarakeerthi Athukorala – Polonnaruwa

20. Sudarshana Denipitiya – Badulla

21. Kumarasiri Rathnayaka – Monaragala

22. Akila Ellawala – Ratnapura

23 Rajika Wickramasinghe – Kegalla

 

 



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Bid to use private member’s motion to put off LG polls alleged

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By Shamindra Ferdinando

Former Foreign Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris has questioned the rationale behind President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s warning that the military will be deployed to curb protest vis-a-vis a Foreign Ministry undertaking to boost foreign trade and investment.

Addressing the Parliament, during the Budget committee stage debate, on 28 Nov., Prof. Peiris said the Foreign Ministry couldn’t expect to succeed in economic diplomacy while the government was resorting to repressive measures.

Prof. Peiris asked who would want to invest in a country where the people were warned of dire consequences if they held protests, and elections were arbitrarily postponed.

Referring to the long overdue Provincial Council polls, Prof. Peiris discussed how postponement of scheduled Local Government polls could further jeopardise Sri Lanka’s standing among the international community.

Prof. Peiris alleged that the government was planning to use private members’ motion submitted by Attorney-at-Law Premanath C. Dolawatta (SLPP, Colombo District) to put off scheduled Local Government polls further. The ex-Minister claimed that the motion meant to enhance youth representation in governance would be utilised to delay the polls indefinitely. He recalled how the Yahapalana government had postponed the Provincial Council elections indefinitely.

The rebel SLPP Chairman pointed out that the government had chosen MP Dolawatta’s motion, handed over recently, though SJB’s Imthiaz Bakeer Markar submitted a private member’s motion on the same lines much earlier.

MP Dolawatta handed over a copy of his motion to President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Oct 31. Prof. Peiris said that they wouldn’t find fault with the lawmaker for making proposals which the academic said were timely.

Prof. Peiris warned Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, PC, that Sri Lanka wouldn’t be an appealing destination for investments unless the government adopted tangible measures to curb corruption. Shocking disclosures at parliamentary watchdog committees underscored that corruption was at unprecedented level and needed immediate attention.

Speaking on behalf of the breakaway SLPP faction, Nidahasa Jathika Sabhawa aka Freedom People’s Congress Prof. Peiris said that the recent declaration by the World Bank that it would audit the procurement and distribution of fertiliser here meant that the world had no faith in our system.

Commenting on assurances given by the government that a new Anti-Corruption Bill would be introduced soon, Prof. Peiris said that existing laws were quite sufficient. The issue at hand is absence of political will to battle corruption, the former Minister said, meant flight of professionals and intolerable increase in taxes on business wouldn’t encourage Foreign Ministry’s drive.

At the onset of his speech, lawmaker Peiris asked whether the government was genuine about the recent declaration that the national issue could be resolved by the enactment of a new Constitution by the next Independence Day. Who would take such a promise seriously against the backdrop of all previous attempts undertaken by far more stable governments failing to achieve the desired results? the former law professor asked. The former minister also questioned the feasibility of forming an apparatus on the lines of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa. Prof. Peiris asked whether those now at the helm really had the wherewithal to meet the South African standards.

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State FM assures there won’t be shortage of milk powder

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State Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya told Parliament yesterday (29) that there would be no shortage of milk powder in the coming days due to the Customs holding a consignment of six containers of milk powder, imported into the country, for violating regulations.

Minister Siyambalapitiya said the six containers had 105,375 kilos of full cream milk powder, imported from New Zealand, via Malaysia. It reached the Colombo port on 20 Oct. It was only after the consignment had arrived in the Port that the importers submitted the letters to get the consignment released from the Controller Imports and Exports. Arrangements would be made to release the stock from the harbour on the recommendation of the Secretary to the Ministry of Trade and Food Security.

As such, there is no need for permission from the Controller Import and Export to release the stock, the minister said, adding that there were no limitations imposed on importing milk powder and there would be no cause for panic buying in fear of a shortage of milk powder in the coming days.

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Dolawatta responds to GL

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premanath-c-Dolawatta

SLPP MP Premanath C. Dolawatta said his private member’s motion wouldn’t lead to the postponement of local government polls. He said he felt the need to restore the 25% quota for youth, even before he entered Parliament, consequent to the August 2020 general election. The government and the Opposition could quickly reach a consensus on the proposals, and avoid unnecessary complications. MP Dolawatta said so when The Island sought his response to accusations made by Prof. Peiris, who said that time was rapidly running out for Local Government polls. As the nomination process needed to be commenced soon to ensure that 341 Local Government bodies could be constituted by 20 March 2023.

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