Hon.Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe assuming duties in office. The Hon. Minister of Petroleum Resources Development - Arjuna Ranathunga, Hon.Minister of Transport - Nimal Siripala De Silva, Hon.Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils - Faiszer Musthapha and Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping - Mr.L.P.Jayampathy are also in the picture.
Hon.Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe and Hon.Deputy Minister of Ports and Shipping - Nishantha Muthuhettigama receiving blessings of Maha Sangha.
Hon.Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe expressing views to the media. Hon.Minister of Transport - Nimal Siripala De Silva, Hon.Minister of Sports - Dayasiri Jayasekara and Hon.Deputy Minister of Ports and Shipping - Nishantha Muthuhettigama are also in the picture.
Hon.Mahinda Samarasinghe assumed duties in office today (23.05.2017) as the new Minister of Ports and Shipping. The function took place at the Ministry of Ports and Shipping, No; 19, Chaithya Road, Colombo 01amidst blessings of Maha Sangha and a large gathering of Ministers, Deputy Ministers and officials of a number of government institutions.
Hon.Mahinda Samarasinghe was the former Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training. During the cabinet re-shuffle yesterday (22.05.2017) he was vested upon the portfolio of ports and shipping and took oaths as the new Minister of Ports and Shipping before His Excellency the President Maithripala Sirisena.
Expressing views to media after assuming duties in office the Hon.Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe stated that he was well aware of the challenges ahead as he took over the leadership of the Ministry.” I have no doubt that we can overcome these challenges,” he said.
Speaking further the Minister said that what is important was to put the country in first place. “The country’s interests are paramount and must be foremost. With that we can ensure that we contribute towards the rapid economic growth of Sri Lanka. The Ministry of Ports and Shipping being one of the key ministries, can significantly contribute towards the sustainable economic development of Sri Lanka and the wellbeing of its people,” the Minister added.
He also said that the doors are open at any time for the trade unions for discussions to upgrade and maintain industrial peace in every matter to ensure smooth and efficient port operations towards the highest productivity in the competitive maritime sector.
Having joined the Sri Lanka Overseas Service, Minister Samarasinghe served as the First Secretary to the Sri Lanka High Commission in Australia and as Counselor for the Sri Lankan Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva during the 1980s. He has also represented Sri Lanka at the International Labour Organization, World Health Organization, International Telecommunication Union and the World Meteorological Organization. Whilst working at the Sri Lanka Mission in Geneva, he represented Sri Lanka at almost all of the Governing Body meetings of the ILO in 1986 and 1987, as well as the International Labour Conference (ILC) from 1985–1987. At the end of the 1987 ILC, he successfully presented a draft resolution on ‘Workers Housing,' which was adopted at the conference.
Minister Samarasinghe entered active politics in 1988 and was elected to the Provincial Council of the Western Province, where he served as the Leader of the House of the Provincial Council and the Provincial Minister of Health and Economic Infrastructure.
In 1994 he was elected to parliament from the Kalutara district, and was re-elected in the elections held in 2000, 2001,2004 and 2010. During the period 2001 - 2004, he served as the Cabinet Minister of Employment and Labour. He was the Government Chief Whip from 2001–2004 and the Opposition Chief Whip from 2004 - 2006. He had also served as Cabinet Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights from 2006 - 2010 and Minister of Plantation Industries from 2010 - 2015. He was also a member in the Parliamentary Consultative Committees of the Ministries of Trade, Commerce, Industries, Finance and Foreign Affairs.
The Hon. Minister of Petroleum Resources Development - Arjuna Ranathunga, Hon.Minister of Transport - Nimal Siripala De Silva, Hon.Minister of Labour, Trade Union Relations and Sabaragamuwa Development - W.D.J.Seneviratne, Hon.Minister of Technology Research - Susil Premajayantha, Hon.Minister of Sports - Dayasiri Jayasekara, Hon.Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils - Faiszer Musthapha, Hon.Deputy Minister of Ports and Shipping - Nishantha Muthuhettigama, Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping - Mr.L.P.Jayampathy, Navy Commander - Vice Admiral Ravindra Chandrasiri Wijegunaratne, Vice Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) - Prof.Lalith Prasanna Perera, Managing Director of SLPA - Mr.H.D.A.S.Premachandra, Executive Director of SLPA - Mr.Sanjeewa Wijerathne, a number of higher management officials, staff members, employees and members of related institutions and Trade Unions were also present at the occasion of the assumption of duties in office by Hon.Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe.
(SLPA - 23052017)