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Sri Lankan foreign minister switched in cabinet reshuffle

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena named a new foreign minister, as he reshuffled his cabinet this week, his first such move since coming to power in 2015.

Mangala Samaraweera, who was criticised by the opposition and Sinhala nationalists, for agreeing to co-sponsor a UN Human Rights Council resolution in 2015 has now been moved to a new portfolio. He will now be the government's finance and media minister.

Ravi Karunayake, who previously held that role, will now be the government's foreign minister.

Economy Next reported that Mr Samaraweera “had publicly declared that finance was a subject that was foreign to him and expressed a desire to remain in the foreign affairs portfolio”.  

“However, he was given a sweetener by way of attaching a second portfolio, Media, placing him in charge of the government propaganda machine,” it added. 

The full reshuffle is listed below.

Hon. Mangala Samaraweera – Minister of Finance & Mass Media
Hon. S.B. Dissanayake – Minister of Social Empowerment, Welfare & Kandyan Heritage
Hon. W.D.J. Seneviratne – Minister of Labour, Trade Union Relations & Sabaragamu Development
Hon. Ravi Karunanayake – Minister of Foreign Affairs
Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe – Minister of Ports & Shipping
Hon. Gayantha Karunatilake – Minister of Lands and Parliamentary Reforms
Hon. Arjuna Ranatunga – Minister of Petroleum Resources Development
Hon. Chandima Weerakkody – Minister of Skills Development & Vocational Training
Hon. Thilak Janaka Marapana – Minister of Development Assingments
Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera – State Minister of Mahaweli Development 

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