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Last updated: 20 November, 2005 - Published 16:20 GMT
 
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President Rajapakse selects new team
 
DM Jayaratne (R) with JVP General Secretary (L) Tilvin Silva and former minister Richard Pathirana
DM Jayaratne is to be appointed as new Prime Minister
Newly elected president of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapkse, has begun selecting his new administrative team.

Former Trade Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopullai told BBC Sandeshaya that senior Minister DM Jayarathne will most certainly be appointed the next Prime Minister of the island nation.

Former Ports and Telecommunication Minister Jayaratne earlier told bbcsinhala.com that the party members are urging him to accept the post as he is the most senior member of the cabinet.

Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has earlier selected brother of former President, Anura Bandaranaike, to be Prime Minister under Rajapakse presidency.

UNP 'contractor'

Blasting Bandaranaike as a "UNP contractor who always tried to defeat the SLFP candidate including his own sister", Fernandopullai said "Anura will reap what he sow".

Wimal Weerawansa
Weerawansa has been offered the Media portfolio

President Mahinda Rajapakse is also considering reducing the number of cabinet ministers but the party seniors have advised him to be patient, Fernandopullai added.

Propaganda Secretary of the Peoples Liberation Front (JVP) Wimal Weerawansa was requested to accept a ministerial portfolio.

“I think he is the most suitable candidate to be Media minister,” Fernandopullai said.

JVP Media minister

All the ministers of Kumaratunga presidency, he added, will get new portfolios under Rajapakse.

An attempt by bbcsinhala.com to contact Anura Bandaranaike was unsuccessful.

The Cabinet of ministers was automatically dissolved as President Rajapakse resigned from the post of Prime Minister.

Former Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama is also to be demoted from his current senior portfolio.

It is not clear whether Amunugama will be retained in the new cabinet.

The state radio announced that former Secretary to the Prime Minister, Lalith Weeratunga, has been appointed as the Secretary to the President.

 
 
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