Sri Lanka’s new Cabinet, including four members of the Rajapaksa family, took oath on Wednesday with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa retaining the key defence ministry while the finance portfolio went to newly-elected Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa after their party won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections last week.
President Gotabaya retained the ministry of defence while his elder brother Prime Minister Mahinda has been assigned finance, urban development and Buddhist affairs ministries. Mahinda’s elder son, Namal Rajapaksa has been named the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports – a first time Cabinet position since he entered parliament in 2010.
The eldest brother of the president, Chamal Rajapaksa was named irrigation minister in addition to being the state minister of internal security. His son, Shasheendra Rajapaksa has also been given a state ministry.
The Rajapaksa led Sri Lanka People’s Party (SLPP) won a landslide victory in the parliamentary elections held last week that allowed the influential family to consolidate power for the next five years. The SLPP won a record 145 seats in the 225-member parliament.