New Cabinet today
THE new Cabinet of President Mahinda Rajapakse will be sworn-in this
morning at Temple Trees. A new Budget reflecting the people's
aspirations as contained in Mahinda Chintana will also be unveiled soon.
"By tomorrow the Cabinet will be sworn in," Mangala Samaraweera, who
spearheaded Rajapakse's election campaign, told Reuters yesterday. The
JVP has still not said whether they will accept Cabinet portfolios, he
The Cabinet was dissolved when Rajapakse resigned from his post as
Prime Minister to be sworn in as President.
Samaraweera dismissed fears that Rajapakse's win was part of a
strategy by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to keep the
peace process stalled and push for a separate homeland.
He said Rajapakse would invite the Tigers to discuss amending a 2002
ceasefire as a precursor to peace talks.
On Saturday the LTTE said his victory showed the island's Sinhalese
majority were impossible to negotiate with.
"The Tiger comment I would say is fairly predictable," Samaraweera
said. "Despite their public stance, we're quite confident they are
willing to resume negotiations as early as possible.
"As a start, we really want to invite them to start looking at the
ceasefire agreement, and I think even the LTTE has admitted that the CFA
needs to be strengthened."