Sri Lanka’s New Prime Minister
by TMO Staff
The country of Sri Lanka has been currently on a rollercoaster of politics. Shocking news came out of the island country in the Indian Ocean, when President Maithripala Sirisena removed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, dissolved his cabinet and suspended the parliament. After these major acts, he appointed former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new prime minister.
Mahinda Rajapaksa has been an important figure in the country’s politics. He led the country when a decades-long civil war was coming to an end. It may seem that he must have been beneficial to the country, but his rule turned out to be filled with corruption and has been accused of war crimes and creating a debt with China worth billions of dollars.
It may seem like a normal business because countries do this type of stuff often, but Ranil Wickremesinghe has refused to leave the Prime Minister’s given residence and claims that President Maithripala Sirisena’s actions are unconstitutional and he will not give in to his demands.
The place of the prime minister’s residence is called the Temple Trees and many of Wickremesinghe’s supporters have come out to form a protective human wall to prevent the President from removing Wickremesinghe from his position.
This is a tense situation for Sri Lanka because this event shows a lack of a peaceful transition of power. Having various seats empty or occupied seats with no work being done puts the country in a situation of turmoil. There is potential for mass protests, conflicts between parties and civilians.
Mahinda Rajapaksa’s status as a corrupt politician remains a high concern of the people as well. To many people, it just seems like they are adding more corruption to the country’s government. There are accusations against Rajapaksa of accepting bribes and offering bribes to become the new prime minister.
It also strange that President Sirisena is bringing on Rajapaksa as the new prime minister because Rajapaksa lost to Sirisena in the last presidential election. It makes people wonder if President Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa had already planned for something like this so that they could both hold very powerful political positions in Sri Lanka.
Currently, there is a lot of gridlock in the country and the people wait to see if Rajapaksa actually participated in corrupt behavior and if Wickremesinghe will leave Temple Trees willingly or by force.