Ranil Wickremesinghe appointed new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka amid crisis

Story Highlights
  • Ranil Wickremesinghe appointed as new PM of Sri Lanka.
  • The leader was administered the oath of office by the president today.
  • Ranil served at PM of the country four times so far.

Sri Lanka: Veteran political leader Ranil Wickremesinghe stepped in as the PM of the crisis-hit nation by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The 73-year-old will be tasked with navigating Sri Lanka through the worst downturn in its history as an independent nation, with months of shortages and blackouts inflaming public anger.

The leader was administered the oath of office by the president on Thursday. The President of Wednesday had declared that a PM and his cabinet would be placed into operations this week. Wickremesinghe, who has served as the country’s prime minister four times, was in October 2018 fired from the post of prime minister by then-President Maithripala Sirisena. However, he was reinstalled as the prime minister by Sirisena after two months.

The move came after Mahinda Rajapaksa, the president’s brother, resigned as prime minister on Monday after his supporters attacked anti-government demonstrators who had been protesting peacefully for weeks.

This marked a turning point and unleashed several days of chaos and violence in which at least nine people were killed and over 200 injured, with dozens of Rajapaksa loyalist homes set on fire.

Mahinda has since fled the capital Colombo and taken refuge at the Trincomalee naval base on the country’s east coast.

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