A big crowd gathered Mar 23 at the Queen's House in Colombo, the official residence of the Ceylon Governor-General.
A big crowd gathered Mar 23 at the Queen's House in Colombo, the official residence of the Ceylon Governor-General. They were awaiting the arrival of Ceylon's new 8-man Cabinet for the swearing-in ceremony. Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake, leader of the United National Party, who was sworn in earlier, and Finance Minister-Designate and Leader of the House J.R. Jayawardene were the first to arrive.
Premier Senanayake was asked to form the government after his United National Party emerged from the March 19 elections as the biggest single party, but lacking a clear majority. The U.N.P. gained 50 seats in the 151-Member House, while the late Premier Mr. Bandaranayake's Sri Lanka Freedom Party obtained 46. In the election - the most peaceful in Ceylon's recent history the Tamil Federal Party, demanding equal status for Tamil language with the official Sinhalese language, gained 15 seats while Leftist Parties obtained 20. The remaining seats went to minor parties and independents.
The Prime Minister also holds the portfolios of external affairs and defence, while Mr. Jayawardene was allotted the additional portfolios of information, broadcasting, local government and housing. The other ministers are:-
Mr. M.D Banda: Agriculture and Lands, Food, Commerce and Trade, Major Montagu Jayawickreme: Transport, Nationalised Services, Works, Power and Posts.
Mr. Bernard Aluwihare: Education and Cultural Affairs, Labour Industries and Fisheries.
Mr. M.C.M. Kaleel: Home Affairs and Rural Development.
Senator M.V.P. Peiris: Health and Social Services.
Senator Edmund Cooray: Justice.
Meanwhile it was announced that the ceremonial opening the Parliament scheduled for 30th March was postponed for a week. No reason was given.