Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday administered the oath of office and secrecy to 76 Ministers, 37 of whom hold Cabinet rank.

G.L. Peris, who held the portfolio of Export Promotion, has been designated as Foreign Minister. The former Prime Minister, Ratnasiri Wicremanayake, has been inducted into the Ministry with the portfolio of State Management and Reforms.

Basil Rajapaksa, younger brother of the President who functioned as his senior Adviser, is among the new faces in the Cabinet. He has been assigned the newly-created Economic Development Ministry.

Keeping his promise, Mr. Rajapaksa has slashed the number from 109 in the previous government. Yet, it is a large Ministry considering the fact that nearly 60 per cent of the 144 members of the ruling combine in the 225-member House are part of the government.

A few more are expected to be inducted. Sources said the leader of the Ceylon Workers Congress and Minister in the previous government, currently away from the nation, would be sworn-in later.

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