Sri Lanka cabinet overwhelmed, claims spokesman defending new appointments | Sinhala News

Sri lanka News – Sri Lanka’s controversial appointment of 38 state ministers as the country goes through a crippling economic crisis was defended by a cabinet spokesman who claimed that cabinet ministers who had multiple portfolios assigned to them were overwhelmed with responsibilities.

Cabinet spokesman Ramesh Pathirana told reporters on Tuesday September 13 that the new state ministry appointments served to share the workload of the cabinet.

No additional funds have been allocated for the state ministries, he claimed, fielding questions from journalists at the weekly cabinet press briefing.

“I don’t agree with you in relation to the work these ministers will have to do because most ministers are overwhelmed with work (sp),” said Pathirana.

“There is no separate budget line allocated for the state ministers and they will be working with the funds allocated for under the current purview.”

Some ministers have multiple ministries under them so they are overwhelmed with work, he said.

“There is no question about workload. That’s why we wanted to appoint some of the state ministers to share the work burden. They will have sufficient work to be done.”

President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s appointment of the 38 ministers has come under fire from various quarters, particularly opposition legislators and civil society activists.

Sri Lanka is going through its worst economic crisis since independence, with record high inflation drastically impacting the public’s quality of life. The government has been looking to cut expenditure and boost revenues, and though the state ministers have claimed they will not be drawing a separate salary, critics say privileges such as fuel allowances will continue.

The appointments have also been criticised from a human rights perspective.

The Human Rights Watch said last week that the appointment of the new state ministers, three of whom are implicated in serious rights abuses, is an “alarming indication” that President Wickremesinghe’s new administration is not committed to protecting human rights.

President Wickremesinghe’s latest appointment of a state minister, Premalal Jayasekara, who was acquitted of murder charges, has also drawn much criticism.

Most of the new appointments have been from the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), which opposition lawmakers claim is holding the president a prisoner.

Wickremesinghe’s repeated requests for the main opposition and other parties to join a ruling party also fell on deaf ears, and analysts say he has been compelled to depend on the SLPP, policy differences notwithstanding.

It was the SLPP’s votes that secured Wickremesinghe the presidency.

Meanwhile, a minister said on Monday that the government plans to expand the cabinet a government minister on top of the 38 state ministry appointments.

Displeasure as Sri Lanka plans to appoint more cabinet ministers

(Colombo/Sep13/2022)

Leave a Comment

Share to...