March 19, 2019

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    UNP to seek AG’s advice to increase Cabinet

    December 21, 2018

    The United National Party plans to seek the Attorney General’s advice to increase the number of Cabinet ministers by coming into an agreement with the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake said.He was speaking to the media after assuming duties as the Plantation Industries Minister at Sethsiripaya yesterday.“The UNP signed an agreement with the UPFA to form a national government and the resolution of the national government has not been cancelled yet. It is still operative. 

    Though the UPFA left the national government, MP Rauff Hakeem’s SLMC which signed the resolution is still with us. So we believe that we would be able to come into a fresh agreement with the SLMC,” the Minister said.“We are hoping that Parliamentarians Sarath Fonseka, Palitha Range Bandara, Piyasena Gamage, Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa, Indika Bandaranayake and Lakshman Seneviratne will receive Ministerial portfolios and we are struggling for that,” he said.

    “Democratic political victories cannot be achieved within 24 hours or seven days. We have to struggle for that for a long time. The unity between the UNP MPs resulted in the political victory achieved by the party and Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed the newly appointed Cabinet ministers as to how they should carry out their ministerial responsibilities,” the Minister said.

    Minister Dissanayake also stressed the importance of bringing internal reforms in the UNP.“As the Plantation Minister, the first challenge that I have to face is the salary issue of plantation workers and I hope to find an immediate solution after discussing with MP Thondaman, Minister Digambaram, the Estate Workers’ Union and Estate Owners’ Association,” the Minister said.

    The second challenge we have to face is the price of tea and the sanctions imposed on Iran by the US which has resulted in the reduction in the price, since there is a huge demand for Ceylon tea in Iran, he said.The Minister paid his gratitude to MP S.M. Chandrasena for holding the Ministerial portfolio without taking any political revenge.

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