4 new ministers sworn into Sri Lanka's cabinet

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena

The President of Sri Lanka Maitripala Sirisena suspended the work of Parliament until may 8, reports RIA "Novosti" with reference to the press service of the Department of press of the country.

With the help of minority Tamil and Muslim parties, the premier defeated the motion, dealing a blow to Sirisena, who had campaigned for Wickremesinghe to stand down.Those who voted against Wickremesinghe "have no moral right to remain in government", Petroleum Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said.

The SLFP is a main coalition partner in the nation's unity government along with the ruling United National Party (UNP), headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The other ministers who have resigned include Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara, Minister of Social Empowerment and Welfare S B Dissanayake, Labour Minister John Seneviratne, Minister of Science, Technology and Research Susil Premajayantha and Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training Chandima Weerakkody.

The UNP had demonstrated it had a comfortable majority in parliament and if a vote was taken against the Sirisena-faction SLFP ministers, they would have had to go.

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"We will now act as SLFP members, we will not be joining the JO".

Just hours before he announced the suspension of parliament, Sirisena had appointed acting ministers to the positions of those who quit the Cabinet.

Also, a full cabinet reshuffle will be made after this Sinhala and Hindu New Year. Relations between the rival groups in the unity government soured after both suffered losses in February's local council elections.

Sirisena immediately urged the resignation of Wickremesinghe but he resisted.

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