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POSTED AT 07:30 AM 15-04-2018

New lease of life for Cabinet and UNP, says Rajitha

Image Courtesy: News First

The Cabinet of Ministers and the United National Party (UNP) will experience a new lease of life in the near future, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne told the Sunday Observer.

“It will not be a reshuffle, but a new Cabinet will be appointed, and this will take place as soon as possible,” he said, speaking of the long awaited Cabinet reshuffle and the anticipated reforms to the UNP. Minister Senaratne said, the new Cabinet will be appointed on a scientific basis.

“For example, Higher Education and Highways will not be under the same Ministry. There is no correlation between the two subjects,” he said.

Minister Senaratne said the appointment of a new Cabinet is one of their requests, following the no confidence motion against Prime Minister (PM), Ranil Wickremesinghe.

“We have also stood firm on the decision that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Ministers, who voted for the no confidence against the PM, should leave the Cabinet. This will lead to about six Cabinet portfolios falling vacant, hence the appointment of a new Cabinet,” he said.

Speaking of the no confidence against the PM, Minister Senaratne said he was with the PM throughout. He said his son, Chathura, is not going to deviate from the coalition government.

“He had a different opinion earlier, even on the no confidence motion against the PM.

Later on, he came to realise and voted against the no confidence. Now, he and I will join the UNP very soon, to strengthen the party,” Minister Senaratne said.

Speaking of the proposals to reform the UNP, he said the resignation of UNP Chairperson, Malik Samarawickrama and other office-bearers is part of the reforms.

“There will be a new set of office-bearers. The UNP must be a vibrant party as it was in the good old days. It is not being organised properly at present,” he said.

Senaratne said the UNP must have a one-year crash program to reorganise the entire party, including the youth fronts, trade unions, women’s organisations, electoral balamandalaya and district balamandalaya.

“Within one year we can have a good organisation on these fronts.

Then, we can use these organisations to take the party to victory,” he said.

Dimuthu Attanayake

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