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Wickremesinghe chosen Sri Lanka PM in effort to end crisis

Published: Updated:

Five-time former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was reappointed Thursday in an effort to bring stability to the island nation, engulfed in a political and economic crisis.

Wickremesinghe took his oath before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at a ceremony in the president’s office.

The president’s brother, Mahinda Rajakapsa, resigned as prime minister on Monday following violent attacks by supporters on peaceful anti-government protesters. His resignation automatically dissolved the Cabinet, leaving an administrative vacuum.

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The president’s selection of Wickremesinghe is seen an attempt to end violence triggered by the crisis and restore international credibility as the government negotiates a bailout package with the International Monetary Fund.

On Wednesday, authorities deployed armored vehicles and troops in the streets of the capital after the attacks on protesters triggered a wave of violence across the country. Nine people died and more than 200 were injured.

For weeks, protesters have been demanding that both Rajapaksas resign over a debt crisis that has nearly bankrupted the country and caused severe shortages of fuel, food and other essentials.

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