In a desperate bid to diffuse the ongoing protests following the economic crisis in Sri Lanka, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe as the new Prime Minister. Wickremesinghe was the senior Opposition MP and took oath as the prime minister to lead a proposed cross-party government for the sixth time.
Despite protestors demanding immediate resignation from the President, he ignored the call and vowed to steer the debt-ridden island nation out of the crisis. So far, nine people have been killed and over 200 injured after his brother and former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on Monday.
Closeness With Rajapaksas
During the nationwide address, the President had announced that he would appoint a new Prime Minister who commanded the majority and a new Cabinet as per the protestors' demand for a change in government.
On the other hand, Wickremesinghe holds the Prime Minister's office for the sixth time, and however, he has never completed his term before, BBC reported. The new PM has often been seen close to the Rajapaksa family. Experts believe that he has been chosen since he might aid any safe passage required for the Rajapaksa clan as the furious protestors continue their march.
Dismay, Disbelief Over New Appointment
However, Wickremesinghe does not command much support amongst the public or within the government current. The Sri-Lankan economy is in an extreme crisis as people struggle for essential commodities like fuel and milk. On the receiving end, the Sri Lankan public observed the appointment of the new PM with dismay and disbelief.
Although Wickremesinghe was once viewed as a skilled tactician, his popularity amongst the public has significantly dropped after his closeness with the Rajapaksas became public knowledge. Although Wickremesinghe vowed to steer the nation out of the economic and political crisis, the appointment was another arrogant response to weeks of protests.