Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as new Sri Lankan PM

Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as new Sri Lankan PM

International Deskdaily-bangladesh.com

Published: 19:28 12 May 2022   Updated: 21:03 12 May 2022

United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka; Photo: Collected

United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka; Photo: Collected

United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa read the oath to Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday evening.

Ranil Wickremesinghe took oaths at the President’s official House and then proceeded to the Walukarama Temple to seek blessings.

Earlier today, Beleaguered President Gotabaya Rajapaksa announced the name of the new Cabinet, including Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister, trying to steer Sri Lanka out of its dire economic crisis after days of violence.

Respected five-time former premier Ranil Wickremesinghe was the frontrunner to head a “unity government” with cross-party support in the 225-member parliament and replace Gotabaya’s elder brother Mahinda who stepped down on Monday.

Wickremesinghe served as Sri Lankan Prime Minister from 2015 to 2019 and prior to that 2001-2002.  

As per reports by NethNews and Lankadeepa, a large number of Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim parliamentarians came forward to support Wickremesinghe. 

Meanwhile, multiple political sources have told the Lankan news agencies that President Rajapaksa had requested leaders of several political parties to accept the post of Prime Minister, which they turned down due to the challenge due to the prevailing economic situation in the country. – Colombo Gazette, Republic World.

Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned as prime minister on Monday after his supporters attacked anti-government supporters and ran a riot in Colombo. This unleashed several days of violence that killed at least nine people and injured more than 200, with dozens of Rajapaksa loyalist homes set on fire.

Security forces patrolling in armored personnel carriers with orders to shoot on sight anyone engaged in looting or violence have since cracked down on public disorder.

A curfew was lifted Thursday morning only to be reimposed after a six-hour break allowing people to stock up on essentials.

The main opposition SJB party was initially invited to lead a new government, but its leader Sajith Premadasa insisted that the president first step down.

Wickremesinghe is the only legislator from his United National Party (UNP) which was routed at the August 2020 election that gave Rajapaksa a two-thirds majority.

The country of 22 million people is in its worst economic crisis since independence with severe shortages of food, fuel and medicines and long power cuts.

Sri Lanka is in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and others about a bailout package after a shortage of foreign currency forced it to default on its foreign debts last month.

The island nation’s central bank chief warned Wednesday that the economy will “collapse” unless a new government was urgently appointed. 

Source: Daily Mirror online

DailyBangladesh/AS