Senior Ministers of the Cabinet, assuming duties have said that they are fortunate to be appointed as Senior Ministers.
Senior Minister Athauda Seneviratne said that various comments were made in the past about them. There were not only cartoons but also editorials in newspapers. It was made a political issue. He pointed out that they had been entrusted this task to exploit their services. The Minister commented that they were not only seniors, but also great politicians. They had reached this status through experiences. The President was the person who did not consider discarding them. What he wanted to do was to unite everyone. He even is desirous of bringing all political parties together. He emphasized that they had been appointed as seniors to retire them.
Senior Minister Professor Tissa Vitharana pointed out that there are various Ministerial portfolios in the country and responsibilities entrusted. But a major shortcoming was the lack of proper coordination since gaining independence. The programme of appointing Senior Minister has been launched as a solution to this problem. As an example, the Minister referred to countries such as Singapore and India where such a programme has been mooted. He said that the President had taken the decision to launch this concept in Sri Lanka as it has brought fruitful results. It is not possible for the President who holds an executive portfolio to handle the coordination of all Ministries.
Several Senior Minister assumed duties today with the participation of Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne and many Parliamentarians. The assumption of duties took place at the Senior Ministerial Secretariat in Kollupitiya amidst the chanting of Multi-Religious observances.
Giving his views on this occasion, Minister Basil Rajapaksa opined that he considered the appointment of such Senior Ministers was a strength for new Ministers such as them.