ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President is expanding his Cabinet of Ministers by creating two new portfolios that of Public Security and Technology, according to an Extraordinary Gazette issued over the weekend.
Retired Admiral Sarath Weerasekara will be the new Minister of Public Security and he will handle a host of subjects now coming under the President, his office said last night.
They include dealing with the Covid 19 pandemic, protection of archaeological sites, the greater Colombo Investment agencies and the Port City.
Weerasekara, was the first Director-General of the Civil Defense Department under which the Civil Defense Force is administrated.
He is a much-decorated Naval officer and was the first to lead the fast attack flotilla which emerged at the end of the war as an internationally recognized littoral attack force.
He is currently State Minister for Provincial Councils and Local Government and is likely to be promoted to a full Cabinet post.
The other changes in portfolios announced in the same gazette is the creation of the Ministry of Defense which President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is holding de facto since his election a year ago.
The gazette formalizes this process which was barred by the 19th Amendment but now is permitted after the passing of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution which allows the President to hold Cabinet positions.
The gazette also created a Ministry of Technology which will control the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Telecom, a host of organisations and bodies controlling Information Technology as well as the Registrar of Persons and the Sri Lanka Standards Institute. (Colombo, November 23, 2020)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana