Now, two-thirds of govt. MPs holding portfolios

Nine new deputy ministers appointed

by Dasun Edirisinghe

There were no shortcuts in politics and the rise to great heights was a gradual process, President Mahinda Rajakapsa said yesterday.

Addressing nine newly appointed deputy ministers, at the Presidential Secretariat, he said people trusted the party and all were receiving posts due to that. Therefore, all should be committed to protect the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

Nine Parliamentarians, including former national cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya, had polled the highest number of preferential votes at the 2010 general election in their respective districts and those who had held ministerial portfolios in Provincial Councils before contesting the general election, were given deputy minister posts.

President Rajapaksa said that the deputy minister portfolios had been following the assessment of their work and conduct.

According to new the appointments, about 65 per cent of ruling party parliamentarians hold either ministerial or deputy ministerial portfolios. There are 161 parliamentarians in the government ranks including those who crossed over from the Opposition while 105 of them are ministers, project ministers and deputy ministers.

"These posts have been given to novices after discussion and with the consent of the United People’s Freedom Alliance," the President said, adding that the newly appointed deputy ministers should honour their responsibilities and duties that came with the posts.

Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne, SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena, government ministers and relatives of newly appointed deputy ministers were present at the swearing in ceremony.

Newly appointed deputy ministers are: Y. G. Padmasiri (Kegalle District) – Agriculture, Hemal Gunasekera (Matara District) – Co –operatives and Internal Trade, Antony Victor Perera (Puttalam District) – Coconut Development and Janatha Estate Development, Chandrasiri Muthukumarana (Anuradhapura District) – Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms, Nishantha Muthuhettigama (Galle District) – Minor Export Crops Promotion, Mohan Lal Grero (Colombo District) – Education, Sanath Jayasuriya (Postal Services), Lakshman Wasantha Perera (Matale District) – Industry and Commerce and Sarath Weerasekera (Digamadulla District) – Labour and Labour Relations.

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