May 09, 2017

Cabinet reshuffle after Ranil’s China tour! Featured

The UNP has requested president Maithripala Sirisena to carry out the cabinet reshuffle, said to take place today (09), after prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe returns from a visit to China.

Wickremesinghe will be in China from 13 to 17 of May.

The UNP working committee that met yesterday did not take a decision on a cabinet reshuffle as expected.

The PM’s side has proposed that if the president wants to go ahead with his promise to heads of media institutions to carry out a cabinet reshuffle before Vesak, he could do so for the SLFP ministers, and put off dealing with the UNP ministers until after the PM is back from China, a spokesman for Sirikotha told Sri Lanka Mirror.

Not appropriate during Vesak

When contacted, minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe said no cabinet reshuffle was possible until Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s Sri Lanka tour is over, as the president, prime minister and other key government figures were busy with arrangements for hosting the international Vesak festival.

Also, it is inappropriate to change the ministers at a time when the Indian PM is attending the festival as the chief, guest, he said.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the president’s office said the president was in a dilemma as he has publicly said that a cabinet reshuffle would be carried out before Vesak, with the PM’s agreement.

SLFP is silent

A group of SLFP ministers that have been demanding a cabinet reshuffle met the president last night, but he has not made reference to the matter there.

Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said deciding or advising a cabinet reshuffle was up to the president and the PM, not to them.

Other SLFP ministers who met the president kept their mobile phones switched off until this morning.