Sri Lanka gets first woman justice minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena Friday promoted Foreign Employment Minister Thalatha Atukorale giving her the additional portfolio of Justice and making her the country’s first woman to hold the post.

Athukorale, 54, a lawyer by profession, entered politics in 2004 from the United national Party (UNP) after her brother Gamini died. She took over the brother’s Ratnapura district constituency.

She was promoted following the sacking of Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe on Wednesday for breaching collective cabinet responsibility and criticising the government’s $1.1 billion partnership with China to develop the Hambantota port.

President Sirisena brought monks and wildlife under one minister by giving Wijeyadasa’s Buddhist Affairs ministry to Wildlife conservation minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera, a veteran UNP stalwart who had entered parliament along with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the July 1977 elections.

(COLOMBO, August 25, 2017)

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