Sri Lanka's new president names brother Mahinda Rajapaksa as PM

The brothers are credited with brutally crushing the Tamil Tigers a decade ago to end the country's civil war


Afp November 20, 2019
Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (left) and his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISTANBUL: Sri Lanka's new President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will swear in his elder brother Mahinda — a former president himself — as prime minister, a spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The brothers are credited with brutally crushing the Tamil Tigers a decade ago to end Sri Lanka's civil war, with the security services they controlled accused of war crimes and multiple human rights abuses.

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Government spokesperson Vijayananda Herath said Mahinda Rajapaksa will assume duties as premier soon after incumbent Ranil Wickremesinghe steps down on Thursday morning.

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe formally announced his resignation on Wednesday, four days after his party suffered a humiliating defeat at presidential polls.

In an address to the nation, Wickremesinghe said he had informed new president Gotabaya Rajapaksa that he will step down on Thursday, allowing a new minority government to be formed.

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