Musical Chairs

February 02 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s 54-member jumbo cabinet is causing logistical headaches for parliamentary staff, with senior members who crossed over from the United National Party, being entititled to the available meeting rooms officials said. Perks for each cabinet minister include an office space in the parliament complex, but the facility only has about three dozen ministerial offices.

The offices are distributed according to seniority of each legislator.

Officials said according to tradition, new ministers from the United National Party get first preference over those from the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party, as quite a number of them have been sitting legislators since 1977.

If parliamentary tradition is upheld, the newer ministers of the ruling party will have to give up their rooms to make way for the senior defectors.

Meanwhile, secretary general of parliament, Priyani Wijesekera has also sought permission from the Urban Development Authority to put up a new building to accommodate more ministerial offices.

Rajapakse had to also indefinitely put off his maiden cabinet meeting scheduled for Wednesday as officials could not find space to accommodate the large numbers.

President Mahinda Rajapakse Thursda