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Sri Lanka Cabinet formation further delayed

Duminda Dissanayake

Colombo: Sri Lanka’s new government has further delayed formation of the Cabinet beyond the already agreed deadline of September 1.

The election was held nearly two weeks ago in which the United National Party (UNP) failed to win the absolute majority of 113 seats in 225-member assembly.

The UNP and the opposition Sri Lanka Freedom Party decided to form a national unity government following which there were serious negotiations and disagreements over the sharing of key portfolios.

Duminda Disssanayake, the SLFP acting general secretary, said the new Cabinet was most likely to be inducted on September 4.

He said the SLFP’s 64th convention would be held on September 2 in Polonnaruwa and said they had invited all party officials including President Maithripala Sirisena who is the party Chairman, to attend the event.

Sirisena pledged to form a national government with his members providing the majority for the national unity government will be in office for a minimum period of two years.

However, some members of the SLFP who are followers of the former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa have announced that they would not join the national government but would work as the main opposition.

Sirisena has allowed the MPs to act according to their wishes. Sirisena on Monday appointed three members of the Cabinet including the foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera.

They were appointed to host a visit by a group of top US State Department officials.

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