Mangala Samaraweera returns as Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister

Mangala Samaraweera was on Monday sworn in as Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister for the third time in a simple ceremony by President Maithripala Sirisena.

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 24, 2015, 14:08 PM IST

Colombo: Mangala Samaraweera was on Monday sworn in as Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister for the third time in a simple ceremony by President Maithripala Sirisena.

58-year-old leader took the oath of office along with two other ministers as the first Cabinet appointments of the new government elected after August 17 parliamentary polls.

The remaining cabinet Ministers are scheduled to take oaths tomorrow.

Wijeydasa Rajapaksha took oath as the Minister of Justice and DM Swaminathan as the Minister of Rehabilitation.

Samaraweera returns to the post for the third time in his career. He held the position from 2005 to 2007 under former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, and for the second time between January 2015 and August 2015.

With Sirisena's victory over Rajapaksa in January, he was appointed the foreign minister in the new government.

Sirisena's Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) have joined hands to govern the country after the UNP failed to win absolute majority.

Meanwhile, the co-partners of the SLFP's broader alliance United People's Freedom Alliance are crying foul protesting Sirisena's decision to drop them in the national list of the UPFA to Parliament.

Each party is allocated a portion of a total of 29 seats depending on the number of cumulative votes polled.

The UPFA which is also led by Sirisena won 12 seats. Sirisena nominated all of his allies over looking nominees from co-partners.

"We are extremely disappointed that agreements with smaller parties have been ignored and other people have been appointed," said Somaweeera Chandrasiri, a national list aspirant from the leftist Mahajana Eksath Peramuna.

The decision on the national list appointment has been made with the UPFA's executive committee approval, said Piaysiri Wijenayake of the National Freedom Front, who is also a national list aspirant.