Minister of Finance and Media Mangala Samaraweera has opted out of chairing the weekly Cabinet news conference, a role he also played 23 years ago.
This is a sequel to President Maithripala Sirisena reinstating Samaraweera in Media along with Finance in the latest Cabinet reshuffle where it was a return to the Media......for Samaraweera following his previous stint as Minister of Posts Telecommunication and Media in the Chandrika Kumaratunga Government in 1994. Samaraweera was the spokesman in the government under the first CBK Presidency. Prof. G.L. Peiris was the spokesman in the second CBK Presidency.
Samaraweera has told the other three Cabinet spokesmen, Minister of Lands and Parliamentary Affairs Gayantha Karunatilleke, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera and Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne to chair the Cabinet meetings, top political sources told Ceylon Today.
Despite there being speculation that Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne was to arrive at the Cabinet news conference, he failed to turn up.
The reason for Dr. Senaratne's absence from the weekly news conference was that he was overseas for a World Health Organization conference, but he would be present at the weekly Cabinet news conference at the Government Information Department from today, sources said.
This is the first time that the Media Minister is not the Cabinet spokesman since the creation of this role by the J.R. Jayewardene Presidency when the media was under Minister of State Anandatissa de Alwis and when the Ministry Secretary was an eminent member of the Ceylon Civil Service and the incumbent Minister of Special Assignments Dr. Sarath Amunugama, who was also independent Sri Lanka's 16th Finance Minister in the second Chandrika Kumaratunga Presidency in 2004.(Ceylon Today)