Wickremesinghe Chosen Sri Lanka PM in Effort to End Crisis

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.

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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