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* Sri Lanka President swears in four new Cabinet ministers and six deputies
Wed, May 5, 2010, 12:56 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 05, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa today swore in four new Cabinet ministers and six deputies at the President's House increasing the size of the Cabinet to 42 members.

Kandy district MP Keheliya Rambukwella, former minister and media spokesman on national security was sworn in as Minister of Mass Media and Communication. Mervyn Silva who was earlier appointed as the deputy minister of Media was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Highways.

S.B. Dissanayake who crossed over from the opposition United National Party before the presidential election in January was sworn in as the Minister of Higher Education.

Arumugam Thondaman, the leader of the Ceylon Workers' Congress, and MP from Nuwara Eliya District was given the ministerial portfolio of Livestock and Rural Community Development and Prof. Tissa Vitharana was sworn in as the Minister of Technology and Research.

The other five deputy ministers are Dr. Sarath Amunugama as the Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning, Mahindananda Aluthgamage as the Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs, Faizer Mustapha as the Deputy Minister of Environment, M. K. D. S. Gunarathna as Deputy Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs and Dr. Jagath Balasooriya as the Deputy Minister of Labour Relations and Productivity Improvement.

The President held off giving ministerial portfolios to any Kandy District parliamentarian until the report of the probe regarding election malpractices in Nawalapitiya electorate was finalized. The committee appointed to investigate the incident handed over its report to the President on Sunday (02).

Following the swearing in ceremony, President Rajapaksa chaired the inaugural Cabinet meeting of the new UPFA Government.

(Picture by Sudath Silva)

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