A Cabinet reshuffle will be made before the Sinhala and Hindu New Year as agreed by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday evening, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said yesterday.
He said that during the same meeting between a group of UNP members led by the Premier and the President on Saturday to discuss the future activities of the government, the UNPers demanded the latter to remove the 16 SLFP Cabinet Ministers, State and other Deputy Ministers who voted for the No Confidence Motion against the Premier in Parliament last week, from their positions in the government since they had no moral right to remain in those positions of which the head is the Prime Minister.
He made these observations during a press conference held at his official residence in Colombo 7.
Minister Kariyawasam further said that the President said that he would meet the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Central Committee on Monday (today) and would discuss the matter there and keep the UNP informed of their decision on those members.
Queried by the media on the division ratio between the UNP and the SLFP, of the 16 ministries that is to be removed, Minister Kariyawasam said that it had to be considered following the SLFP Central Committee meeting today.
“The UNP is looking forward to see those 16 being removed from their ministerial portfolios,” Minister Kariyawasam said. “So the UNP officially informed the President that we are unable to work with the SLFP Ministers who voted for the No-Confidence Motion moved against the Premier,” the Minister said.
He also said according to his learning that the 16 SLFP members were ready to resign except for two, that is Minister S.B.Dissanayake and Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara. “I heard them say that they would act on the instructions of the President,” Minister Kariyawasam said.
He said further that the Prime Minister further instructed the UNP backbencher Parliamentarians to withdraw their No-Confidence Motion that they handed over to the Speaker last week against Ministers S.B.Dissanayake, W.D.J.Seneviratne, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Susil Premajayantha, Chandima Weerakkody, Dayasiri Jayasekara and Dpeuty Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala as it was not a decision of the party.