Rajapaksa unveils new expanded Lankan Cabinet

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Colombo: Sri Lanka’s powerful President Mahinda Rajapaksa on November 22 unveiled an expanded 59-member Cabinet for his second six-year term as he retained his Prime Minister and Foreign Minister while rewarding with Ministerial berths several MPs, including leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, who supported his government on a key amendment.

Rajapaksa, 65, chose to keep with himself the key Defense and Finance portfolios and retained Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne for a second term.

The President’s brother Basil Rajapaksa, the main political strategist of his administration, also kept his post of Economic Development Minister.

G. L. Peiris, the incumbent Foreign Minister, also retained his position.

Newly-appointed Ministers along with 31 other deputy Ministers took the oath of office before Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat, ahead of the presentation of the first budget of his second term.

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