No doubt both the Pope and the Saint that he is named after embody selfless service to the the flock they shepherd.

The Daily News along with all the people of Sri Lanka joyously welcomes Pope Francis 1, a servant of God whose life is dedicated to the service of man. This country’s people have been inspired by the work of the Holy Father, an extraordinary and selfless shepherd to his flock.

The Pope’s visit happens also at a time there is an extraordinary transformation in this nation.

There is leadership in this country that is based on the tenets of compassion - maithree (love) for the fellow human being.

We daresay that His Holiness the Pope would himself be gratified. Yesterday saw the swearing-in of the Cabinet of the new servant of the people, Mr. President Maithripala Sirisena, a gentleman who states he is a benign ruler who is committed to serve the people rather than be served by them.

The Prime Minister himself takes on the mantle of policy implementation.

Mr. Mangala Samaraweera is the Minister of Foreign Affairs. On a cursory initial perusal of the list of Cabinet Ministers, it could be said many of the individuals who have been appointed seem to be those who fit the job description.

Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe has a long record of public service, and carrying out public policy decisions has been virtually his calling in his long record of serving various governments from the days of the late President J. R. Jayewardene.

Mangala Samaraweera has tested foreign policy credentials, having served in the External Affairs slot in a previous dispensation.

The Daily News wishes the new Cabinet members all success as they dedicate themselves to the task of nation building to a new set of ground rules that has as its cornerstone incorruptibility, and the core values of good governance and decency.

Mr. Wijedasa Rajapaksa as Minister of Justice should be able to take the country forward as the government legislates for a future, and hopes to instill rule of law.

He has a record of campaigning for public accountability, and at a time the government hopes to legislate for a Freedom of Information Act, for instance, a gentleman with a track record of what could loosely be called public activism, is bound to acquit himself admirably in the portfolio concerned.

These new ladies and gentlemen in a brand new Cabinet have a task master who starts with an ambitious hundred day program which seeks societal transformation in an extremely short period of time, perhaps a first in the history of post independence governance in this country.

What is hoped for mostly is that the new Cabinet inculcates a new political culture in this country that is sorely needed.

People await an era in which they can breathe more freely, express their opinions sans duress, and hope for a resultant thaw in the polarizations and divisions that have for too long animated our multi faceted, pluralistic social fabric.

The new dispensation needs the love (maithree) and the empathy of the people to carry out the tasks ahead of them, which in the final calculation have been entrusted to them by the voting public of this country. The Cabinet speaks in the voice of the people!