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Lanka appoints new foreign minister

Rohitha Bogollagama replaces Mangala Samaraweera as Sri Lanka's foreign minister, reports PK Balachandran

india Updated: Jan 28, 2007 13:41 IST

Rohitha Bogollagama is Sri Lanka's new Foreign Minister, replacing Mangala Samaraweera in a massive reshuffle of the Council of Ministers carried out by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday.

Samaraweera, who has been at odds with the President over the latter's move to take defectors from the opposition United National Party (UNP), is now left with Ports and Civil Aviation.

Bogollagama was Minister for Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion in the last cabinet.

He had also led the government's delegation in the two rounds of talks with the LTTE held in Geneva in 2006.

Bogollagama's strength is that he enjoys the trust of President Rajapaksa.

A lawyer with practice in corporate, trade and shipping law, Bogollagama entered parliament in 2000 as a member of the UNP, but later defected to the government when Chandrika Kumaratunga was President.

He is expected to give a thrust to economic cooperation and investment promotion as Foreign Minister.

First Published: Jan 28, 2007 13:18 IST