Colombo, May 11 (newsin.asia): Following a request made by Mano Ganeshan, the Sri Lankan cabinet Minister for National Integration, Reconciliation and Official Languages, to relieve him of the portfolio of National Reconciliation, it might be taken over either by the President or the Prime Minister, sources in the Presidential Secretariat said.
As a first step towards the change, senior politician, A.H.M. Fowzie, was sworn in as the State Minister for National Unity and Reconciliation by President Maithripala Sirisena here on Friday.
Mano Ganeshan will in all likelihood be the cabinet Minister of National Coexistence Dialogue and Official Languages, the portfolio he has been holding since 2015.
Officials said that a gazette notification of the changes would be issued shortly.
In the recent cabinet reshuffle, Minister Ganeshan was allotted the portfolios of National Integration, Reconciliation and Official Languages. The Office of Missing Persons (OMP) and the Organization for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) were placed under the Ministry of Reconciliation and allotted to him.
But Ganeshan felt that the crucial department of OMP and ONUR were better handled by the President himself as the decisions regarding them would have to be taken at the highest level and orders also issued from the highest level.
According to Ganeshan, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera were also of the same view.
He appealed to the President to take over Reconciliation and the above mentioned institutions under his wing.
Sources in the Presidential Secretariat said that the matter is being discussed by the President and the Prime Minister. Also under consideration is an opinion that, administratively, it would make sense to allot the subjects to the Prime Minister.
Once a decision is taken, a gazette notifying it would be issued, officials said.
Meanwhile on Friday, AHM. Fowzie, was sworn in as State Minister of National Unity and Reconciliation to hold the fort till a cabinet Minister is notified. Fowzie is a senior politician and a member of the President’s party, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).
(The featured image at the top shows Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe)