Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as new Sri Lanka’s new PM

The 73-year-old United National Party (UNP) leader took oath before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at a ceremony in the president's office.
Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as new
Sri Lanka’s new PM
Ranil Wickremesinghe Flickr [Creative Commons]

Colombo: Opposition leader and former premier Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn-in as Sri Lanka's 26th prime minister on Thursday, days after his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa was forced to resign following violent protests over the worst economic crisis in the debt-ridden island nation.

The 73-year-old United National Party (UNP) leader took oath before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at a ceremony in the president's office after they held closed-door discussions over formation of a new government to address the economic crisis.

"My best wishes to the newly appointed PM of #LKA, @RW_UNP, who stepped up to take on the challenging task of steering our country through a very turbulent time. I look forward to working together with him to make Sri Lanka strong again," President Gotabaya tweeted along with a picture of him and Wickremesinghe.

Sri Lanka was without a government since Monday when Gotabaya's elder brother and prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned after violence erupted following an attack on the anti-government protesters by his supporters. The attack triggered widespread violence against Rajapaksa loyalists, leaving 9 people dead.

Mahinda quickly congratulated Wickremesinghe, saying that he wishes him all the best as he navigates "these troubled times."

"Congratulations to the newly appointed Prime Minister of #lka, @RW_UNP. I wish you all the best as you navigate these troubled times," tweeted Mahinda, who is under protection at a naval base following violent attacks on his aides. PTI

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