Former Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama will not take up a position in the new Cabinet, informed UNP sources confirmed.
Samarawickrama is a former Chairman of the United National Party.
UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam told the media today that the party had sent a list of proposed Cabinet ministers to President Maithripala Sirisena.
The list sent by the UNP this morning comprised 30 names, party sources added. President Sirisena is yet to formally respond to the UNP’s list.
Colombo Telegraph learns that there is a tug of war between President Sirisena and the UNP over several key issues concerning the new Cabinet.
President Sirisena had informed the UNP that he wanted to keep the Department of Police and two state media institutions under him. The UNP, in response, has opposed the move saying that it is a UNF Cabinet and the strategically important ministries should come under the purview of UNP ministers.
Sirisena has also opposed giving Cabinet positions to SLFP MPs who crossed over to the UNP. He conveyed the same message to the SLFP parliamentary group at a meeting last night.
Disregarding Sirisena’s warning, however, three more SLFP MPs namely Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa, Lakshman Seneviratne and Indika Bandaranaike today crossed over to the UNF.