Ranil Wickremesinghe
appointed Sri Lanka’s
new PM, India says
will continue to help

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COLOMBO: United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was on Thursday sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka amid the worst economic crisis faced by the country that has seen violent anti-government protests.

Wickremesinghe, who has served as Prime Minister five times, was administered the oath of office by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Wickremesinghe accepted the post of Prime Minister after securing the support of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MPs, the Daily Mirror reported.

Earlier today, Sri Lanka’s Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa said that his party will “devise a strategy” if United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickramasinghe is made the prime minister of the country.

Ranil Wickremesinghe

In an exclusive interview with ANI, Sajith spoke about the letter he wrote to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in which he expressed willingness to assume the post of prime minister if demands put forward by his party are met.

“I will not speak on the speculation but if it will happen, we will launch our strategy soon. We are the largest opposition party in the country and we know the political system in the country,” he said answering a question related to Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence with food and fuel shortages, soaring prices and power cuts affecting a large number of the citizens, resulting in massive protests over the government’s handling of the situation.

On Monday, groups of pro and anti-government activists clashed in Colombo amid the state of emergency and a nationwide strike demanding the resignation of the president. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down from office in a bid to mitigate the ongoing crisis. The protesters set his house on fire.

India reiterates commitment

India’s commitment to the people of Sri Lanka will continue, said Indian High Commission in Colombo on Thursday shortly after Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed leader of the United National Party Ranil Wickremesinghe as the prime minister on Thursday.

United National Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is sworn in as prime minister of Sri Lanka, in Colombo on 12 May. (ANI photo)

“High Commission of India hopes for political stability and looks forward to working with the Government of Sri Lanka formed in accordance with democratic processes pursuant to the swearing-in of Hon’ble @RW_UNP as the Prime Minister of SriLanka,” the high commission said in a tweet.

“India’s commitment to the people of #SriLanka will continue,” it added.

Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the prime minister by Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Colombo Thursday evening.Wickremesinghe had previously served as the prime minister.

US Ambassador Julie Chung said she is looking forward to working with new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

“Look forward to working with Ranil Wickremesinghe. His appointment as PM, and the quick formation of an inclusive government, are first steps to addressing the crisis and promoting stability. We encourage meaningful progress at the IMF and long-term solutions that meet the needs of all Sri Lankans,” the US ambassador tweeted.

Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down as the prime minister on Monday, following violent incidents reported between pro-government groups and anti-government protesters.

Sri Lanka’s Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa said that his party will “devise a strategy” if United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickramasinghe is made the prime minister of the country.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, Sajith spoke about the letter he wrote to Sri Lankan President in which he expressed willingness to assume the post of prime minister if demands put forward by his party are met.

“I will not speak on the speculation but if it will happen, we will launch our strategy soon. We are the largest opposition party in the country and we know the political system in the country,” he said answering a question related to Ranil Wickremesinghe. (ANI)