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Sri Lanka appoints new prime minister amid turmoil

Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as country's prime minister on 5 occasions before, local media reports

Handan Kazanci   | 12.05.2022
Sri Lanka appoints new prime minister amid turmoil

ISTANBUL

Sri Lanka’s president appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe the new prime minister for the crisis-hit country, according to local media on Thursday.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed opposition lawmaker Wickremesinghe, Sri Lankan news outlet News 1st reported.

The 73-year-old politician “has been sworn in as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on five occasions before,” it added.

Earlier on Thursday, Sri Lanka’s president vowed changes to strengthen the country’s parliament.

“The new gov will be given the opportunity to present a new program & empowered to take the country forward. Further, steps will be taken to amend the constitution to re-enact the contents of the 19th Amendment to further empower the Parliament,” Rajapaksa wrote on Twitter.


What happened in Sri Lanka

People took to the streets at the end of March, protesting hours-long daily power cuts and shortages of food, fuel, and other vital goods after a foreign exchange shortage led to the island country’s worst-ever economic crisis.

On Monday, clashes erupted between government supporters and protesters gathered around the Prime Minister's Office, and military units were called to the capital Colombo.

Amid growing pressure from the opposition, Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down.

The government declared a nationwide curfew and ordered troops to open fire on anyone looting public property or causing harm to life.

In nationwide protests, eight people, including a ruling party deputy and two police officers, lost their lives and nearly 250 people were injured.

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