Sirisena names 30-member Cabinet

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena named a 30-member Cabinet on Thursday to end a crippling seven-week power struggle with his Prime Minister, but only after a final tussle over who should control the police. Mr. Sirisena reinstated Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister on Sunday after the Supreme Court threw out his attempt to dissolve Parliament and hold early elections. “The forming of the Cabinet was delayed because the President wanted to retain media and the police,” government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said. “He conceded the Media Ministry, but will retain control over the police for a little longer.” No Law and Order Minister was named in the new Cabinet and Mr. Sirisena, who also serves as Defence Minister, will take responsibility for the police. Key posts The key posts of Finance Minister and Foreign Minister remained unchanged from Mr. Wickremesinghe’s deposed government. Mangala Samaraweera stays as Finance Minister and Tilak Marapana as foreign chief. Mr. Sirisena sparked the political crisis on October 26 when he sacked Mr. Wickremesinghe in a bid to name Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister. He had to backtrack in the face of opposition from the legislature, where he had no majority, and Sri Lankan courts. Shortly after giving Mr. Wickremesinghe his job back on Sunday, Mr. Sirisena made it clear that working with the new government would be difficult. “I still believe that I should not have made Ranil Wickremesinghe the Prime Minister, but I bow to the wishes of the majority in Parliament,” he said. “But, I don’t know how far we will succeed in fulfilling the wishes of our people.” Mr. Sirisena came to power in 2015 with the help of Mr. Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP), but personal and political clashes came to a head with the October sacking.

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