Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as Lankan PM again

Colombo: United National Party’s ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in once again today, days after the Supreme Court scrapped rival Mahinda Rajapaksa’s appointment to the position.

President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe on 26 October and appointed Rajapaksa in his place in a controversial move that plunged the island nation into a constitutional crisis.

Rajapaksa resigned on Saturday after two crucial Supreme Court decisions made his efforts to cling to premiership untenable, paving the way for the return of 69-year-old Wickremesinghe who had refused to step down asserting that his sacking was illegal.

UNP deputy leader Sajith Premadasa said that he was not surprised that the President had agreed to appoint Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister again despite taking a firm position earlier that he will not appoint Wickremesinghe.

“This showed the true character of the President,” he was quoted as saying by the Colombo Gazette.

Premadasa said that the President was ‘misled by some groups who were against the unity Government’ and this resulted in the President removing Wickremesinghe.

“But now truth has prevailed,” he said. “The party is prepared to work with Sirisena again in the government,” he said.

Premadasa said, ‘The lessons from the incident must be used to strengthen the foundation of democracy and promote justice and fairness.’ UNP General Secretary MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said the new Cabinet will be appointed within two days.

NT Bureau