CMs sworn in without hitch

By Ravi Ladduwahetty, Norman Palihawadana

President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday swore in S. M. Ranjith, Maheepala Herath and Abdul Majeed Mohamed Najeed as the new Chief Ministers of the North-Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provincial Councils respectively.

The ceremony was held at the Presidential Secretariat.

In addition to the three Chief Ministers, four Ministers each for each of the three PCs were also sworn in.

North-Central Province Chief Minister S. M. Ranjith, in addition to being Chief Minister, will also hold the portfolios of Minister of Finance and Plan Implementation, Local Government and Irrigation, Lands, Provincial Road Development, Rural Infrastructure and Sports Affairs.

Maheepala Herath, in addition to being Sabaragamuwa Chief Minister, will also have additional portfolios of Law and Order, Finance and Planning, Health, Indigenous Medicine, Women’s Affairs, Cooperatives, Trade and Food, Transport, Estate Welfare, Environment, Information and Construction.

Abdul Majeed Mohamed Najeed in addition to being Chief Minister of the Eastern Province, will also hold the portfolios of Finance and Plan Implementation, Law and Order, Human Resources, Local Government, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Rural Development and Environment.

The other Ministers of the North-Central Provincial Council, who were sworn in yesterday, were: Ratnayake Mudiyanselage Bandara - Minister of Agriculture, Animal Production and Health, Appuhamilage Herath Banda Semasinghe - Minister of Indigenous Medicine Social Welfare, Probation and Childcare, Transport and Women’s Affairs and Keedagalegama Hethuhamilage Nandasena - Minister of Trade and Food, Small Industries, Textile Industries and Rural Industries and Tourism.

In the Sabaragamuwa Province, Athula Kumara Rahubadda will function as the Minister of Provincial Highways Development and Rural Infrastructure, Tourism, Sports and Youth Affairs, while Srilal Wickremasinghe will be the Minister of Provincial Lands, Irrigation, Agriculture, Animal Production, Animal Health and Fisheries. Ranjith Bandara will be the Minister of Social Welfare, Probationary Child care and Rural Industries and Development. A. A. Prabath Bhanu Manupriya will be the Minister of Education, Information Technology and Cultural Affairs.

In the Eastern Province, Dissanayake Wimalaweera will be the Minister of Education, Cultural Affairs, Lands and Land Development and Transport. Meera Saibo Uduma Lebbe will be the Minister of Provincial Road Development, Irrigation, Housing and Construction, Rural Electricity and Transport. Ahamed Nazeer Sainalabdeen will be the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Production and Development, Rural Industrial Development, Fisheries and Tourism. Ibrahim Mohamed Mohamed Musoor will be the Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine, Social Welfare, Probation and Childcare, Women’s Affairs, Sports and Youth Affairs Information and Technology, Education Cooperatives Development and Food Supplies and Distribution.

Meanwhile, NCP Chief Minister S. M. Ranjith said that he will continue the good work that the previous Chief Minister did and will develop all the paddy fields that were in a state of ruin all these years.

He also pledged to develop the tourism infrastructure as most of the visitors to the Anuradhapura District were leaving prematurely due to the absence of hotel rooms. One of the other areas that he has in mind is to develop places of religious worship.

Sabaragamuwa Chief Minister Maheepala Herath said that he and the Council would be proceeding with the development plans of the government in consultation with the Cabinet Ministries, keeping in line with President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s development policies.

"It is due to the confidence that the people had in the development policies of President Mahinda Rajapaksa that they voted for the UPFA in an unprecedented manner on three consecutive occasions and we will be doing all within our ambit to develop the lifestyles of the people," he said.

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