His Holiness Pope Francis was welcomed on arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport yesterday by President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, First Lady Jayanthi Pushpakumari and other delegates with the Presidential entourage. Pictures by President’s Media Unit and Sudath Nishantha.

Karunarathna Paranavithana assumed duties as the Mass Media and Information Ministry Secretary yesterday. Additional Secretary K.W.T.N. Amarathunga is also in the picture.

President Maithripala Sirisena appointed 27 Cabinet Ministers, 10 State Ministers and eight Deputy Ministers at a ceremony held at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo yesterday, where the parliamentarians took oaths.

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The Pope is here, and the new Cabinet is sworn in and there couldn’t be better tidings this New Year, 2015. Both events are of momentous import, in different but also parallel ways. Pope Francis 1 is known as the People’s Pope, a humble servant of God who chose as his papal moniker Francis, to honour St. Francis of Assisi whose followers are said to have ‘celebrated and venerated poverty’ in their day.

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