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Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister takes office, saying he “wishes to thank Prime Minister Modi”

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Sri Lanka, new Prime Minister, Prime Minister takes office, Ranil Wickremesinghe, wishes to thank, Prime Minister Modi,Sri Lanka's 26th Prime Minister, 225-member Parliament, economic assistance, economic crisis
Sri Lanka's new Prime Minister takes office, saying he "wishes to thank Prime Minister Modi"

Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has expressed his desire for closer ties with India during his tenure and has thanked India for its economic assistance as the country faces its worst economic crisis since independence. On Thursday, Ranil Wickremesinghe, 73, was sworn in as Sri Lanka’s 26th Prime Minister, with the goal of stabilizing the country’s debt-ridden economy and putting an end to political turmoil.
“I want a closer relationship, and I want to thank Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi,” Wickremesinghe said, referring to India’s economic assistance to his country.

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His remarks came after he took the oath in a religious ceremony here last night.
Since January of this year, Pledged more than USD 3 billion to debt-ridden Sri Lanka through loans, credit lines, and credit swaps.

India said on Thursday that it looks forward to working with the new Sri Lankan government formed through democratic processes, and that New Delhi’s dedication to the people of the island nation will be maintained.

The 73-year-old United National Party (UNP) leader took over as prime minister after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s elder brother and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned as PM on Monday after violence erupted following an attack on anti-government protesters by his supporters.

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The attack sparked widespread violence against Rajapaksa supporters, killing nine people and injuring over 200 others.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe stated that his priority was to address the economic crisis.

“I want to solve this problem so that people can get petrol, diesel, and electricity,” Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said.

Sri Lanka is experiencing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1948. A lack of foreign currency has contributed to the crisis, as the country cannot afford to pay for imports of dietary staples and fuel, resulting in acute shortages and extremely high prices.

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“I will complete the task that I have agreed to do.”

When asked if he could keep his premiership in the 225-member Parliament because he only has one seat, he said, “I will prove the majority when it comes.”
Referring to the island-wide protests, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe stated that the main protest near President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s secretariat, which has been ongoing for over a month, would be allowed to continue.

“If they (protesters) are willing, I will talk to them,” he said.

When asked if he was concerned about a protest demanding his resignation, he said he would face them.

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“If I can handle the economic crisis, I will handle that as well,” he said.