SLMC leader takes over Justice Ministry


by Shamindra Ferdinando

SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem, MP will take over the Justice Ministry today (Nov. 29).

The Kandy District MP Attorney-at-Law Hakeem succeeds Kegalle District MP Athauda Seneviratne, who has been elevated to the post of a Senior Minister (Rural Affairs).

In keeping with the understanding between the SLFP and the SLMC, Basheer Segu Dawood (Batticaloa District) has been appointed Deputy Minister of Cooperatives and Internal Trade.

The SLMC, which contested the last parliamentary elections on the UNP/UNF ticket, secured two seats in Digamadulla and a seat each in Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Vanni and Kandy Districts.

While accommodating the SLMC leader in the Cabinet, President Mahinda Rajapaksa moved Communist Party leader Dew Gunasekera (National List) and LSSP leader Prof. Tissa Vitharana (National List) to a nine-member group categorised as Senior Ministers.

Sources said that President Rajapaksa had accommodated CP member (Matara) Chandrasiri Gajadeera, Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms, a portfolio previously held by his party leader. Interestingly, Vasudeva Nanayakkara (Ratnapura), who contested the general election on his own, received the National Languages and Social Integration portfolio.

Immediately after the last election, the Left Party alliance comprising the CP and LSSP appealed to President Rajapaksa to accommodate Nanayakkara in the Cabinet. The Left Party, which supported Nanayakkara’s candidature at the general election, secured five seats, including two National List slots, with the three elected members being Gajadeera, Pathmasiri (Kegalle/LSSP) and Vasudeva Nanayakkara.

Vasudeva Nanayakkara will assume office today at. 8.30 a.m.

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