Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe (Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe) has included four ministers in his cabinet on Saturday. GL Perridge has been included in the cabinet as the Minister of External Affairs. According to the news of Daily Mirror, an online news portal, Dinesh Gunawardene (Dinesh Gunawardena) was sworn in as Public Administration Minister, Periz as External Affairs Minister, Prasanna Ranatunga as Urban Development and Housing Minister and Kanchana Wijesekara as Power and Energy Minister. Periz was also foreign minister in the previous government led by Mahinda Rajapaksa.
All four ministers inducted into the all-party interim government announced by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa are from Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Puramuna Party (SLPP). According to the news, government sources said that the number of members in Wickremesinghe’s cabinet is expected to be 20. Meanwhile, the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) has decided to extend support to new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe to help him prove his majority in the House.
Wickremesinghe has a seat in Parliament
Wickremesinghe has only one seat in Parliament. Most opposition parties have said they will not take office in the Wickremasinghe-led interim government, but will support his move to deal with the economic crisis. 73-year-old United National Party (UNP) leader and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the country’s 26th Prime Minister on Thursday to provide stability to Sri Lanka’s deteriorating economic situation. A few days ago, Mahinda Rajapaksa had to resign from the post of Prime Minister after violent clashes in view of the deteriorating economic situation of the country.
Wickremasinghe has urged the leader of the main opposition party Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) to leave party politics and join him in forming a non-partisan government to resolve the burning issues and bring the country’s economy back on track. Wickremasinghe wrote a letter to SJB leader Sajith Premadasa. In the letter, he sought Premadasa’s support to resolve the burning issues immediately and to stabilize the country economically, politically and socially by getting foreign aid.
Premadasa replied to the letter to the PM
Responding to the letter, Premadasa assured the Prime Minister that as a responsible opposition, he would support the government in its efforts to deal with the economic crisis. Premadasa’s party, the SJB, had vowed not to be part of the government, claiming that Wickremasinghe did not have public approval to become the prime minister. He has reiterated that his party will continue to pressurize him to form the government without the Rajapaksa brothers.
Meanwhile, lawyers’ body BASL in a statement called on Wickremasinghe to show his ability to establish consensus among all political parties in Parliament. Significantly, Sri Lanka is going through the worst economic crisis since gaining independence from Britain in 1948.