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Sri Lanka to get new strategic development ministry

By By our Political Correspondent

Aug 20, 2015 22:01 PM GMT+0530 | 7 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT, Sri Lanka’s new government is set to fast track its economic reforms agenda with the creation of a new ministry for strategic development that will include functions of both the finance ministry as well as investment promotion, official sources said.

UNP chairman Malik Samarawickrema is tipped to head the new ministry whose name is still being decided in time for Monday’s swearing in of a cabinet by UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who will be sworn in Prime Minister on Friday.

“The idea is that there is a new ministry which will help speed up the monetary and fiscal reforms to achieve the economic targets of the new government,” the official said asking not to be named.

The new government is grappling with not only the ministers and their portfolios, but how to accommodate a section of the SLFP which is trying to forge a “national government” as defined by the 19th amendment to the constitution.

Government sources said  the SLFP was demanding 10 to 15 cabinet slots and an equal number of deputy ministries in exchange for their support. The SLFP had also wanted the government to limit its cabinet positions to 20 so that the final cabinet will be anything between 30 to 35, something that is not acceptable to the UNP.

President Sirisena has appointed a five-member committee headed by former president Chandrika Kumaratunga to negotiate with Prime Minister-elect Wickremesinghe and a decision will have to be made over the weekend.

The 19th amendment to the constitution stipulated that there shall be a maximum of 30 cabinet ministers in the event a party is forming a government on its own. However, in the event of a “national government” the parliament will have to decide the size of the cabinet and the number of junior ministries.

You can access the

19th amendment to the constitution here:



  1. Lal August 21, 03:08 AM

    Malik is not only a good rugger player, entrepreneur but also a qualified accountant , he was one of the youngest when he passed out, so he should be able to handle economic areas of the Country well.

  2. Eagle Eyes August 21, 11:12 AM

    This is a bloody mad idea, both the ministry and the person to be in charge. Malik has no qualifications to head an economic affairs ministry, no has he had any experience in handling a large ministry. The country is in the beginning of an economic crisis and we need an economist to handle this. What we need now is a surgeon who can conduct surgery, not a boy scout to who can administer first aid.

  3. Rajiv de Silva August 21, 10:54 AM

    UNP should forget the national government and form a government of its own. Though it is a minority government SLFP would not be able to topple it because neither JVP nor ITAK will support SLFP to topple the government. Ranil must tell the President where to draw the line.

  4. Giabao August 21, 09:28 AM

    Appointing trusted pals and family members to powerful positions is common feature in politics all over the world. Now people who opposed to MR regime will realize this could be even worse regime where power will be concentrated to very few closely linked pals. This is the world reality.

  5. Aston August 21, 07:04 AM

    I Agree with Danny. We need a vibrant young person. I can think of two peoplw. It is time for Ranil to place the country first rather than looking after his trusted pals.

  6. danny August 21, 06:48 AM

    I think Malik is not a good candidate for this position . This position need to provided to an economic expert , this is going to be a vital title for the country ...

  7. Tilak August 21, 02:48 AM

    The speed the global economic changes are taking place at present too lettle too late means SL may miss the bus.The time to concentrate,listening carefuly by keeping an year to the ground, act might be wasted by the howls of greedy lots wanting murkey water. This is also is the time the new government should be working 24 hours.

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