Ranil Wickremesinghe is back as Sri Lankan PM for 6th time to quell crisis


Guwahati: Ranil Wickremesinghe, a veteran opposition lawmaker, was sworn in as the new prime minister of Sri Lanka for the sixth time in an effort to end the current political crisis in the country, local media reported.

Wickremesinghe was sworn in by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who had assured the nation on Wednesday that he would form a new government within a week to end political instability.

Wickremesinghe’s appointment comes after opposition leader Sajith Premadasa had written to the president saying he was willing to lead an interim government under certain conditions.

President Gotabaya’s brother, Mahinda Rajakapsa, resigned as prime minister on Monday following clashes between government supporters and anti-government protesters. The resignation automatically dissolved the cabinet, leaving an administrative vacuum.

Protesters have blocked the entrance to the president’s office for more than a month.

On Wednesday, authorities deployed armoured vehicles and troops in the streets of Colombo after the attacks on protesters triggered a wave of violence across the country. Nine people died and more than 200 were injured.

Security forces have been ordered to shoot people deemed to be participating in the violence, as sporadic acts of arson and vandalism continue despite a strict nationwide curfew that began Monday evening.