Moves are underway to form a 15 member Cabinet of Ministers led by newly appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe amidst protests against the appointment by political parties and civil groups alleging it is ‘an undemocratic and political deal” move.
A new protest site called ‘No- Deal-Gama’ similar to ‘Go Gota Home’ at Galle Face Green has been setupped in front of Temple Tress today as PM Wickremesinghe assumed duties.
The main Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) said it is opposed to the appointment of Mr Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister despite his claim of possessing 113 seat majority in the House.
SJB also turned down President's offer to nominate members to Cabinet. "We will accept positions only if our demands are met," said SJB General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara.
SJB General Secretary MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara said though President requested the Opposition to put forward names for Cabinet portfolios, the party will not do so unless President agreed to the demands set out earlier including declaring a time frame for President to vacate office and calling for fresh elections as masses demanded.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has been offered three Cabinet positions, according to party sources.
National Peoples’ Power (NPP) led by the Peoples’ Liberation Front (JVP) remarked the PM appointment as a ‘political deal’ that has been reached between the Rajapaksa regime to protect themselves from prosecution related to corruption in future.
Many foreign country diplomatic missions including the United States (US), India, United Kingdom (UK) and Japan welcomed the appointment of Premier Wickremesinghe. PM Wickremesinghe also called envoys of India and Japan today morning as well.
Many protests were staged across Colombo and other areas demanding cooking gas and fuel. In Kirulapana, Mahabage and other areas, residents blocked the road by placing cooking gas cylinders in the middle of the road to demand cooking gas.