Dinesh Gunawardena Appointed Sri Lanka’s New Prime Minister

Veteran politician Dinesh Gunawardena was sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka by President Ranil Wickremesinghe. He took oath of office at the Prime Minister’s Office on Flower Road in Colombo Friday, reported news agency ANI. Gunawardena, a senior politician is considered a long-time Rajapaksa loyalist.

Gunawardena, 73 has served as the foreign minister and education minister. He was appointed as home minister in April by then President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

After Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country and resigned amid large scale protests, Wickremesinghe was on Thursday sworn in as the Sri Lanka’s eighth president leaving the prime minister’s post vacant.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan security forces early Friday removed a group of anti-government protesters occupying the President’s Secretariat in capital Colombo following Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation as president.

According to news agency PTI, the protesters had vacated the President and Prime Minister’s residences as well as the Prime Minister’s office earlier after capturing them on July 9, they were still occupying some rooms of the President’s secretariat at the Galle Face.

Protestors confronted armed security personnel when they set up barricades outside the premises of the Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat in Colombo, reported news agency ANI. The soldiers were deployed to control the protests taking place against the newly elected Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe outside the Presidential Secretariat building.