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Sri Lanka just witnessed a shuffle of the Cabinet of Ministers which at first glance appears to have been aimed to increase efficiency, reduce waste and mismanagement. Many of us have long felt that the shuffle was necessary because the cabinet seems replete with individuals who are at best, incompetent and insincere.

However, our initial relief has been soured by the news that while the Ministers of Finance and Foreign Affairs had swapped portfolios, the Minister of Foreign Affairs was likely to retain many of the departments that traditionally came under the purview of the Finance portfolio. In addition, the new Minister for Finance was also given the portfolio of Media Relations.

Many Sri Lankans are starting to get the nauseous feeling that their government has pulled wool over their eyes by swapping the two Ministers AND swapping some of the departments that tradionally came under their purview.

Your Excellency,  a number of news reports have speculated that Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr. Ravi Karunanayake) will be allocated additional duties outside the traditional functions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Specifically, it is speculated that the Minister of Foreign Affairs will oversee the functions of Development Lotteries Board; National Lotteries Board; Mahapola Scholarship Fund; Sri Lankan Airlines; and some plantation sector institutions.

If above reports are accurate, we the members of Voice of Colombo (VOC)are hereby notifying you that WE are NOT okay with the planned changes and we feel that you have betrayed your election promise of establishing a just and fair governing structure.

Still, we believe that you can and must correct this anomaly. Members of VOC demand that you allocate the subjects and functions of Ministries based on rational  principles,  precedents and the constitutional obligations of the President.

Allocation of numerous departments and duties to cabinet members on the basis of political expediency will create a poor precedent and will lead to bad public policy.

As such, we believe that the creation of hybrid Ministries as speculated will do irreparable harm to our polity and we demand that you take immediate steps to remedy the situation.

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