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WorldSri Lanka appoints new prime minister amid crisis

Sri Lanka appoints new prime minister amid crisis

ISTANBUL

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe as the new prime minister in a country hit by an economic and political crisis, local media said on Thursday.

President Rajapaksa appointed opposition lawmaker Wickremesinghe as the new prime minister, Sri Lanka News 1st news agency reported.

The 73-year-old politician has been sworn in as Sri Lanka’s prime minister five times before, Gotabaya Rajapaksa said.

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

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

What happened in Sri Lanka

People took to the streets in late March to protest daily power cuts for hours on end and shortages of food, fuel and other vital goods after foreign exchange shortages caused the island nation’s worst economic crisis.

On Monday, clashes erupted between government supporters and protesters gathered around the Prime Minister’s Office, and military forces were deployed to the capital Colombo.

Amid increasing pressure from the opposition, Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned from his post.

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

During nationwide protests, eight people, including a ruling party representative and two police officers, were killed and nearly 250 others injured.

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