Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday expanded the Cabinet with the induction of eight more ministers but he did not appoint a finance minister to handle the economic affairs of the crisis-hit nation.
The new ministers who were sworn in include Douglas Devananda - Minister of Fisheries; Bandula Gunawardana - Minister of Transportation & Highway, and Mass Media; Keheliya Rambukwella - Minister of Health, Water Supply; Ramesh Pathirana - Minister of Industries; and Mahinda Amaraweera - Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife and Wildlife Conservation, the Economy Next news portal tweeted.
The other ministers were Vidura Wickramanayaka - Minister of Buddhasasana, Religion and Culture; Naseer Ahamed - Minister of Environment; and Roshan Ranasinghe - Minister of Irrigation, Sports and Youth.
President Rajapaksa on Friday had expanded his Cabinet to include nine more ministers in an effort to ensure stability until a full Cabinet is formed in the debt-ridden island nation engulfed in the worst economic crisis since its independence.
The ministers were sworn in after a delay of more than a week since the president appointed new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Rajapaksa reappointed five-time former Sri Lankan prime minister Wickremesinghe, after his predecessor - the president's brother Mahinda Rajapaksa - resigned in the wake of violent attacks by his supporters on peaceful anti-government protesters.
His resignation automatically dissolved the Cabinet, leaving an administrative vacuum.