International

Nine new Ministers sworn in amid Sri Lanka crisis

Former Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, representing Sri Lanka Freedom party (SLFP), is among nine new Ministers who took oath on Friday.

Former Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, representing Sri Lanka Freedom party (SLFP), is among nine new Ministers who took oath on Friday. | Photo Credit: The Hindu Photo Library

Debt-ridden Sri Lanka appointed Nine new Cabinet Ministers on Friday in an effort to ensure stability until a full Cabinet is formed in the island nation engulfed in the worst economic crisis since its independence.

Former Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva representing Sri Lanka Freedom party (SLFP), independent MPs Susil Premajayantha, Wijayadasa Rajapaksha, Tiran Alles were among the new nine ministers sworn-in on Friday by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Four Ministers have already been sworn-in last week.

The Cabinet will be limited to 25 members, including the President and the Prime Minister, according to media reports.

Watch | What led to the economic crisis in Sri Lanka?

Nimal Siripala De Silva Ports has been appointed as the Minister of Naval and Aviation Services, Susil Premajayantha as the Minister of Education, while Keheliya Rambukwella took oath as the Health Minister and Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe as the Minister of Justice, Prison Affairs, Constitutional Reforms, newsfirst.lk reported.

The other Ministers appointed include Harin Fernando as the Minister of Tourism and Land, Ramesh Pathirana as Minister of Plantation Industries, Manusha Nanayakkara as the Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment, Nalin Fernando as the Minister of Trade, Commerce, and Food Security and Tiran Alles as the Minister of Public Security, the report said.

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from Britain in 1948.

Protestors run for cover as police use tear gas to disperse them during a protest organised by students near the President’s House, amid the country’s economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on May 19, 2022.

Protestors run for cover as police use tear gas to disperse them during a protest organised by students near the President’s House, amid the country’s economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on May 19, 2022. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

The crisis is caused in part by a lack of foreign currency, which has meant that the country cannot afford to pay for imports of staple foods and fuel, leading to acute shortages and very high prices.

Thousands of demonstrators have hit the streets across Sri Lanka since April 9 seeking the resignation of President Rajapaksa as the government ran out of money for vital imports.


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Printable version | Jun 17, 2022 3:46:35 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/nine-new-ministers-sworn-in-amid-sri-lanka-crisis/article65438579.ece