NCP revolt:
President retains home province


Two rebel SLFP/UPFA North Central Provincial Councillors who switched their allegiance to President Maithripala Sirisena have been appointed ministers.

Sarath Illangasinghe and Sampath Sri Nilantha have succeeded H. B. Semasinghe and R. M. P. B. Ratnayake. SLFP sources told The Island new appointments were meant to strengthen the group loyal to President Sirisena.

On Tuesday, rebel Susil Gunaratne deserted the group loyal to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to join the NCP board of ministers.

A Provincial Council can appoint five ministers including the Chief Minister.

At the onset of the rebel campaign, 17 out of 22 UPFA members called for CM Peshala Jayaratne’s removal. The group demanded that one-time CM S. M. Ranjith be reinstated as Chief Minister. Susil Gunaratne took over portfolios held by S.M. Ranjith.

Trouble erupted at NCP after President Sirisena sacked Minister K. H. Nandasena and replaced him with one of his loyalists. With yesterday appointments, President Sirisena has replaced four out of five NCP ministers. (SF)

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