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Last updated: 29 January, 2007 - Published 13:49 GMT
 
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Forum: New Ministers
 
President Mahinda Rajapaksa reshuffled the Cabinet of Ministers on Sunday for the first time since taking over in November 2005.

The move allowed a group of dissidents of the UNP to join the government and cemented President Rajapaksa's parliamentary majority.

51 Ministers took oaths before the President: He has personally visited Minister Amarasiri Dodamgoda, who is indisposed, to administer his oaths.

New Cabinet of Ministers (photo Sudath Silva)
Fifty two MPs are cabinet ministers, 33 non-cabinet ministers and 19 deputy ministers. The ruling party has only nine MPs without portfolios.

104 members of the parliament were appointed Ministers, non-Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers by President Rajapaksa.

The President has retained Defence, Finance, Samurdhi and Religious Affairs portfolios.

Have your say.


Sri Lanka has turned into a shameless country that simply celebrates greed and public corruption.
Shyaman Jayasinghe, Melbourne, Australia

Some Sri Lankans like to make world records!
Mahesh, Galle, Sri Lanka

People overseas may not care whether it is Jumbo or Hair but it is us who have to foot the bill of these JOKERS! 104+3 ministries,offical bungalows,secretaries..etc etc.There is a minister who will only be incharge to Pinnawela,Peradeniya Gardens & Dehiwala Zoo!!Ministers in the picture look so small because there are so many people-need to zoom out like hell.
Siripala Gunasinghe, Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Chmapika Ranawaka with the JHU monks at the swearing in ceremony (photo Sudath Silva)
JHU leader Champika Ranawaka and two other junior ministers sworn in on Thursday. The number of MPs holding portfoios increased to 107.

When does bbc started "have your say" on jokes??
Dharshan Senananayake, Kandy

It's all about the hunger of all the Sri Lankan political parties for the power.No one thinks about the country,just think about their wealthy. No one had a clear idia about the Sri Lankan, what they are seek from their politicians except late prasident Mr.Premadasa.
Hiruna Randhika Silva, Kalutara, Sri Lanka

I honestly believe we are making progress for Ceylon national unity. (Forget Srilanka & Eelam) We need three more members- Phabakaran- Vice president Karuna- eastern development minister Thamil selvam- northern development minister JVP have said that they do not want any. This is not a joke. This may be THE solution my friends.
Jay, Perth, Australia

Dear President,Now its upto you. Reduce Ministerial salaries and perks without any fear. You can have both the majority in parliament and also reduced expenditure. After all if there is no burden on people who can blame you for having even 200 miniters?
RP Perera, Sydney, Australia

 The Cabinet reflects nothing else but the utter contradictions of the Sri Lankan society itself. The people who lament over the unbearable burden of cost of living rejoice over the displacemnet of thousands of others.The very same people are also ready to sustain the world's largest Cabinet while their own women suffer from anemia and children from malnutrition.In the name of the Nation and the Cabinet that represents it, we as a people are digging our own graveyards
 
Jude Lal Fernando

Its all about the money! No one wants to do good for the country, they just want to fill their pockets... opportunists!!!
Rumy, Texas, USA

UNP members never have voted if they knew these people were to leave their own party.
AC de Silva, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia

The President has done this because he needs majority in the Parliament. However, the motive of the group that joined the Government is not very clear. If they are actually patriotic and want to help the government to bring about a solution to the ethnic problem they wouldn't have asked for ministerial posts to join the government.
Anuradha Diyagama, Auckland, New Zealand

The Cabinet reflects nothing else but the utter contradictions of the Sri Lankan society itself. The people who lament over the unbearable burden of cost of living rejoice over the displacemnet of thousands of others.The very same people are also ready to sustain the world's largest Cabinet while their own women suffer from anemia and children from malnutrition.In the name of the Nation and the Cabinet that represents it, we as a people are digging our own graveyards knowingly or unknowingly. The choice we have today is not between the Opposition and the Jumbo Cabint but between food and starvation or life and death.
Jude Lal Fernando, Belfast, Ireland

The political situation in Sri Lanka is vastly different to other countries. Many are confident that the current president will drive the country to a very much better place within the next few years time. During this period what we will see in the size of the cabinet or the number of people who will be displaced or the number of loyal millitary personnel who will sacrifice their lives should not be any issues. We all salute you President.
Esther Karen, London, UK

There should be More ministers ! More the cabinet , the country is going to suffer like Hell. All Srilankans have to pay more TAX now . Already we are a failed state...do we need such a big cabinet ???
John Gunasekara, Colombo

President has given a chance to the UNP members who had criticized the government policies in the past to work for the country. So we must forget whether it is a jumbo or hair sized cabinet. I think president has taken a wise decision.
Seela de Silva, UK

Inflation at 20.5% and highest for a decade I am sure this is another attempt to break a world record by the President to send Sri Lanka on a nose dive towards being broke. Unfortunately there is no place for doctors, lawyers, taechers, businesman or even a brave person in this country now other than polititians.
Kanchana Wijayarathne, Rathmalana, Sri Lanka

 I dont normally agree with JVP, this time they are spot on, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his buddies are making Sri Lanka a laughing stock!
 
Raul Joseph, London

This is another forward step towards "direct dimocracy", to give real meaning for term "democracy". Ultimately there will be 200 miliion ministers and MPs. Finally, we are planing to conduct lectures to Bush, and Blair on democracy and good governance.
Amila Wanasinghe, Bandaragama, Sri Lanka

I think this is the biggest mistake Rajapaska done todate. Why on earth or what good can come out of having such a cabinet? Only fools rush in.
Migara Kaluwila, Auckland, New Zealand

It is about Mahida's interest, not the country.
Neville, Ottawa, Canada

It is more for Sri Lanka. But from president (MR) side he has to have strong government. What I believe is for strong government JVP must support to MR. But JVP have their own political propaganda. JVP think about their party before COUNTRY. In this case MR has no any other solution. More than 90% blame must go to JVP.
Indrawansa Rathnayake, Dubai

Someone said no Division but Unity. I would like to change that to no discrimination but equality. This terrorist government is a joke. Yesterday, the foreign minister said that it is hard to do anything with the right wingers wanting to preserve the Sinhala Bhuddist form of the state. Perhaps the Sinhalese people will be better off stopping their counterparts from destroying the country and granting equlity to everyone. Equality in language, equality in religion and equality in development.
John Kulasinghe, Washington, USA

The members of parliament had been elected by the electorate based on their policy and pledges given at the elections. If any one takes a subsequent decision contrary to those pledges given at the general elections they have to be considered as socially unethical act and tantamounts to be a corrupt act.
Nicholas Gunawardenae, Ndola, Zambia

Whole country has been rip-off by politicians since 1956, there was one exception (former president Premadasa). As long as LTTE is there, anything goes wrong will be blame on LTTE and the majority will believe that and our politician will always have easy ride.
Sha, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

I dont normally agree with JVP, this time they are spot on, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his buddies are making Sri Lanka a laughing stock! From today there are 106 ministers!!
Raul Joseph, London, UK

"No one is blameless" was Buddha's words; those who criticize politicians should takeup politics or social work to enudre and expedite public service free of corruption and to fight terrorism. Else, we could all wish that others work for our welfare, including the 'jumbo cabinet' incorrectly or otherwise'.
Lalith, washington, USA

From my childhood I didnt believe how Srilankan politics work. Honestly, I hate srilankan politicians. Nomatter which party they come from. They all are from the same coconut bunch.
Rizni Marzook, France

I place the blame on JVP. Every time when the JVP is strengthened by conscious association of nationalistic people , extreme Marxist groups in the part seems to hijack the progressive people and ideas within. This has lead to disastrous consequences in earlier times so will be this time. President Rajapakse being abandoned by JVP has to go to the disingenuous disgraced UNPers to find support to maintain a stable government.
Sanjeewa, Chicago, USA

This is not a government of the people for the people and certianly not by the people.this was all needed.. now we fulfil all the requirements for a corrupt, tinpot nation. What a colossal waste of money which could have been spent to uplift the poor.
Tina Edwards, London, UK

How to believe?
Dulip Jayananda, Doha, Quatar

 People could say many things, but let's see this from a balanced point of view. JVPers are opportunists. They are not straight forward. Therefore, President cannot keep confidence whether they will continuously support the govt. How could he run the govt and give a permenent solution to the terrorist problem without having a strong govt. ?
 
Malani Kulatunga, Piliyandala

When UNP signed the MoU with SLFP, they sait it is to support the government in good moves. Now they are withdrawing from it means they will not support government's positive actions (if any) in future? Do they prefer their party before country?
Murali Ganeshan, UK

What a mad?
Niroshani Perera, London, UK

I think the President has taken the correct action by allowing the group of UNP dissidents to join the government. What will be his other option would have been... Spend another Zillion and have elections. Also he is consolidating a majority in the SL Parliament to push through his agenda. People will always complain about the Defense budget and the corruption in the country. Although I am NOT Justifying corruption, we are at War peopleto fight terrorism we need arms and equipment for our forces.
Sumith Wijegunawardhene, Washington, USA

All the best.
Asoka Hettiarachchi, Milano, Itlay

This is the fault of weak leadership in both parties, especially the UNP. Whoever heard of a leader who lost 14 elsections (2 presidential) and still being leader ?
Dimutu Pillai, Colombo

"104 members of the parliament were appointed Ministers" This means 104 secretaries, 104 pajeros/ land rovers, and 104 vacations on government funds.
Gavin Britto, Colombo

Simply ridiculous.
Jayalath Eluwawalage, Florence, Italy

People in Srilanka always fooled by this type of things. Mahinda signs any MOU with anybody in order to be in power.These old UNPer's want to retire as ministers with big pensions and to send their children and family members abroad.How can they be still in UNP if they accepted portofolios without the will of the ordinery UNPer's?
Hector Perera, Brampton, Canada

I hope they (104 ministers) will do nothing for people except filling their pocket and spending people's money unnecessarily.
Hussein Mohamed, Dubai, UAE

 Presently we dont have Ministries for Mango, Papaya, Rampe, Karapincha, Banana, Bandankka, Watermelon, three wheelers, Puwak, Jack fruit, Lime, Goma (Cow dung), Cows,rats, cats, dogs, monkeys, donkeys, payment shops, thugs, Toilets, etc. Why not we have more ministries on tax payers money?
 
Ahinsaka Kossinne

The defections reveal the UNP to be a party lacking both in vision and leadership. Ranil Wickremasinghe's failed appeasement policy towards the LTTE and his concentration on providing for the rich while depriving the poor has brought the party into the doldrums. Sri Lankans can only hope that the defections help the ruling party with the numbers to pass important legislation on affairs pertaining to the welfare of the country.
Amal Ranasinghe, Sydney, Australia

Sri Lanka is a failed state. Inflation is sky high, Development is not happening, War is on with hugh defence budget, Abductions & Humanitarian crisis on a mass scale and now 50% of their elected parliamentarians are ministers. It is the people of Sri Lanka that I feel sorry for. Then again it is their fault for electing them in the first place.
Sashi, London, UK

Increasing the number of ministers is definitly NOT bring any resolute to any of the current issues facing the country. Tthe dissidents from the opposition party are mere opportunists and will only be a liability to the ruling party. The only victor in this whole debacle is Mr. Ranil W.
Sudarshana, Gampaha, Sri Lanka

Without hesitation we all Sri lankans should admire the President's ability to unite so many politicians with different views & ideologies to work for him. Think about the UNP leader,who cannot even keep up the unity of once glorious party ! We all know that it's a burden for taxpayers to have a large cabinet like this, but if half of these ministers understand it & work hard for the betterment of the contry, we could achieve some progress. Not DIVISION but UNITY can bring us the prosperity.
Kamal Wijayawardhana, Canada

 "104 members of the parliament were appointed Ministers" This means 104 secretaries, 104 pajeros/ land rovers, and 104 vacations on government funds.
 
Gavin Britto, Colombo

Year after year, the people of my country carry the load of these so called 'politicians' who plunder Lanka. The whole world knows that Quantity is not Quality, and we are so ignorant of world opinion anyway. Does this mammoth cabinet assure us of anything other than increased cost of living for an already burdened nation?
Thushari, Singapore

People could say many things, but let's see this from a balanced point of view. JVPers are opportunists. They are not straight forward. Therefore, President cannot keep confidence whether they will continuously support the govt. How could he run the govt and give a permenent solution to the terrorist problem without having a strong govt. ?
Malani Kulatunga, Pilyandala, Sri Lanka

Bless all these funny situation in Srilanka.Look up how today Dubai is. No joke serious rulers and always with there countryman. But sad to say about our country day by day developing of ministers and there colors.Tomorrow ANURA will carry another 20 from this side to the other side. So everyday we are stupids.
Mahesh Nuwan Munasinghe, Dubai

This jumbo cabinet change is not the president's best option.but no other options for him to avoid the damage do by national enymies such as LTTE and JVP.he is doing what the best for the country according to unfortunate situation country is facing today.what are the any other options available to impliment as a democratic goernment.
Sam Perera, Jakarta, Indonesia

Presently we dont have Ministries for Mango, Papaya, Rampe, Karapincha, Banana, Bandankka, Watermelon, three wheelers, Puwak, Jack fruit, Lime, Goma (Cow dung), Cows,rats, cats, dogs, monkeys, donkeys, payment shops, thugs, Toilets, etc. Why not we have more ministries on tax payers money. You dont have to be a minister to do social work and help people.
Ahinsaka Kossinne, Vancouver, Canada

I have not seen this much of shamefull bunch of politicians in the whole world....they are just behind money...power and corruption. god bless sri lanka..have they ever thought how much sri lanka needs a strong opposition to get things adjusted...dear sri lankans please think that your are in 5th gear of the car but on reverse !
Richard Gunasekara, Dubai

 
 
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LOCAL LINKS
UNP dissidents join Government
28 January, 2007 | Sandeshaya
Cabinet reshuffle to 'consolidate power'
28 January, 2007 | Sandeshaya
Rajapaksa violated MoU says UNP
28 January, 2007 | Sandeshaya
UNP dissidents 'joining on Sunday'
26 January, 2007 | Sandeshaya
JVP warns Mahinda on crossover
26 January, 2007 | Sandeshaya
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