Dinesh Gunawardena on Friday took oath as Sri Lanka’s new prime minister.
The 73-year-old Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Member of Parliament has been appointed as the 15th Prime Minister of the island nation. Gunawardena was sworn in by President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Prime Minister’s Office on Flower Road, Colombo today following many discussions within the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party on Thursday, reported Daily Mirror.
Gunawardena had been appointed Home Minister in April by then President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. With Gotabaya fleeing the country and resigning from his position, earlier prime minister Ranil
Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the eighth President of Sri Lanka on July 21.
The media outlet citing sources said that the previous cabinet of ministers who functioned under Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe will be sworn in on Friday.
The is in a bid to restart the stalled work however the sources said that once Parliament convenes on July 27, discussions on a national government will take place.
The sources said that after political parties accede to form a national government the cabinet will be reshuffled and new cabinet ministers will take oaths.
“Right now there are a lot of papers that need to be submitted to cabinet and the ministries have just stopped functioning. So the previous government will take oaths today and restart their work,” senior sources said, as per the media portal.
Meanwhile, a large number of protestors confronted armed security personnel as the latter setup barricades outside the premises of the Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat in Colombo on early Friday.
The armed soldiers were deployed in a bid to control the protestors who have been protesting against the new Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe outside the premises of the Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat.
Protesters are alleging that security personnel raided the anti-government protest camp in the capital.
Tents of protestors are being dismantled by the armed security personnel outside the premises of the Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat.
“Ranil Wickremesinghe wants to destroy us, they are again doing this, but we will never give up. We want to make our country free of such nasty politics,” said a protestor amid an armed forces crackdown.
Wickremesinghe was sworn in as President of Sri Lanka on Thursday in Parliament before Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya. He was elected as president in an election held in Parliament on Wednesday.
During Wednesday’s vote, Wickremesinghe received 134 votes following the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa from the presidency last week amid severe economic turmoil in the country.
After his official residence in Colombo was stormed by tens of thousands of angry protesters last week, Sri Lanka’s ex-president Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country to the Maldives before flying out to Singapore. Rajapaksa had offered his resignation after fleeing the country.
Sri Lanka’s economy is bracing for a sharp contraction due to the unavailability of basic inputs for production, an 80 per cent depreciation of the currency since March 2022, coupled with a lack of foreign reserves and the country’s failure to meet its international debt obligations.
As Sri Lanka scrambles to get back on track after the election of a new President, the people in the country — who are facing severe economic hardship — are still uncertain about the future.