President Chandrika Kumaratunga dissolved parliament late Saturday, calling for a snap poll on April 2, to break the bitter political deadlock.
Parliamentary polls are not due till 2007 and a poll of this magnitude costs nearly a billion rupees endash money the exchequer has little to spare these days.rn
rnStarting February 17, nominations for elections will be received and the new parliament will meet on April 23, the Presidents office said.rn
rnJust before dissolving parliament, Kumaratungas used her executive powers to appoint two opposition legislators to cabinet.rn
rnFormer Foreign Minister and the Presidents International Affairs advisor, Lakshman Kadirgamar took oaths as Information Minister. The General Secretary of the Peoples Alliance, D M Jayaratne was given the cabinet portfolio of Post & Telecommunications.rn
rnKumaratunga retained the post of Defence Minister endash the main bone of contention since she grabbed three key portfolios last November. rn
rnThe new ministers will re