Appointment of new Sri Lankan cabinet delayed

Sri Lanka’s new president delayed swearing in his cabinet Tuesday because of heavy rains, a government spokesman said, although political sources blamed it on wrangling for top jobs. Sri Lanka’s new president delayed swearing in his cabinet Tuesday because of heavy rains, a government spokesman said, although political sources blamed it on wrangling for top jobs. “Because of the rains today we were forced to put off the ceremony,” a spokesman for President Mahinda Rajapakse, said adding that no new date had been fixed.

Rajapakse, who was prime minister in the government, won the presidency by a razor-thin margin last week over former premier Ranil Wickremesinghe and on Monday named nationalist politician Ratnasiri Wickremanayake as the new prime minister.

A politician, who declined to be named, said Rajapakse faced pressure from coalition allies over cabinet posts.

“The original plan was to limit the number of ministers to 25, but given pressures from coalition partners we may have to increase it to about 30,” the senior politician in the government said.

“The president has also put his foot down and rejected some demands by key political figures, but he is fa