Sri Lanka`s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Friday appointed the interim cabinet of the caretaker government that will remain in place till the next general election and gave important portfolios to his two brothers: Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chamal Rajapaksa.
The new interim 16-member cabinet will be a part of a caretaker government that will remain in place till the next general election scheduled for March 2020. The cabinet was sworn in today before President Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat, Ceylon Today reported.
Mahinda, who was sworn in as the prime minister yesterday, will lead the ministries of finance, economic affairs, housing, urban development, water supply and Buddhist affairs.
Mahinda Rajapaksa has served as president from 2005 to 2015. His accession to power has come after Ranil Wickremesinghe announced his resignation from the prime ministerial post, paving a way for a caretaker cabinet.
"I congratulate the new members of the cabinet. Together with the interim cabinet that was just appointed until the #GenElecSL, we look forward to serving all Sri Lankans," tweeted Rajapaksa.
Another Rajapaksa brother, Chamal was sworn in as the minister of agriculture, irrigation, internal trade, and consumer welfare. Meanwhile, Basil, another brother, will continue to play a powerful role behind the scenes as chief strategist.
"The appointments are seen as a concentration of power into the hands of the Rajapaksa family," media reported.
The Rajapaksa brothers are credited with crushing the Tamil Tigers a decade ago to end Sri Lanka`s civil war, with the security services they controlled accused of war crimes and multiple human rights abuses.
The other members of the cabinet are---Nimal Siripala, Arumugam Thondaman, Douglas Devananda, Pavithra Devi Wanniarachchi, Bandula Gunawardene, Janaka Bandara Tennakoon, Dullas Alahapperuma, Wimal Weerawansa, Mahinda Amaraweera, SM Chandrasena, Ramesh Pathirana, and Prasanna Ranathunga.