Sri Lanka expands jumbo cabinet

COLOMBO, Feb 1, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s president Thursday swore in another minister increasing the cabinet to a historic high of 54 members. President Mahinda Rajapakse inducted a 52-member cabinet on Sunday morning and added another member by the evening.

On Thursday, he named a layman belonging to the Buddhist monks’ party, the National Heritage Party, as Minister of Environment.

Rajapakse retains the key defence and finance portfolios for himself.

Here is the updated list:

President, Defence and Finance: Mahinda Rajapakse

Prime Minister: Ratnasiri Wickramanayake

National Heritage: Anura Bandaranaike

Justice: Amarasiri Dodangoda

Plantation Industries: D.M. Jayaratne

Healthcare and Nutrition: Nimal Siripala de Silva

Ports and Aviation: Mangala Samaraweera

Petroleum and Petroleum Resources: A.H.M. Fowzie

Highways & Road Development: Jeyaraj Fernandopulle

Agricultural Development: Maithripala Sirisena

Education: Susil Premajayatha

Public Administration: Karu Jayasuriya

Youth Empowerment: Arumugam Thondaman

Posts and telecommunications: Rauf Hakeem