The new president Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed his schoolmate Dinesh Gunawardena to succeed him.
The senior Sri Lanka lawmaker Dinesh Gunawardena was sworn in as the new premier the office of his predecessor has announced.
As a all-weather ally of the Rajapaksa family His appointment on Friday came only minutes after the security force removed the main protest site which was for months occupied by protesters discontent with the Rajapaksas for the country’s economic crisis.
Gunawardena 70, is a classmate at school of President Ranil Wickremesinghe. The president was elected by the lawmakers and was sworn in earlier this week. Gunawardena comes from a prominent family in politics.
Former minister from the Podujana Peramuna party, Gunawardena was sworn in as a minister before the eyes of Wickremesinghe who was seated in front of uniformed military officials in a room filled with legislators and officials.
The remainder of the cabinet will be sworn into office later on Friday.
Gunawardena’s appointment was made by Wickremesinghe following the security forces’ removal of a protest camp close to the palace of the president in Colombo, Colombo, where demonstrators have been gathering for the last 104 days.
At least nine arrests as per Reuters news agency as the new administration is attempting to crack down on protesters. Security forces were seen assaulting two journalists.
At least two lawyers were assaulted while going to the protest area to provide their legal advice according to the Bar Association of Sri Lanka. They also claimed that the lawyer as well as several journalists were detained.
“The recourse to the Armed Forces to suppress civilian protests on the first day of the office of the President’s new office is a shame and could result in serious negative consequences for our nation’s economic, social and stability in the political arena,” the association said in its statement.