Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister, vows to improve relations with India
- Wickremesinghe has a daunting task of uplifting his country’s economy
- He feels India should play a role in Sri Lanka’s development
- The Indian High Commission in Colombo reiterated the country's commitment to the people of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that his country's relations with India will “become much better” as he “must fulfil” the challenge of uplifting the country's debt-ridden economy.
Wickremesinghe, who is the leader of the United National Party (UNP), was sworn in as the prime minister for the sixth time by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Colombo on Thursday.
"I have taken on a challenge of uplifting the economy and I must fulfill it," Wickremesinghe told reporters.
Also Read: Who is Ranil Wickremesinghe?
Taking questions from the press, he answered a question on the India-Sri Lanka relationship. "It will become much better,” he responded.
"They should stay. We want them to stay. If they want to talk, yes," Wickremesinghe when asked about the protesters.
The Indian High Commission in Colombo reiterated the country's commitment to the people of Sri Lanka after Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the prime minister.
"High Commission of India hopes for political stability and looks forward to working with the Government of Sri Lanka formed in accordance with democratic processes pursuant to the swearing-in of Hon'ble @RW_UNP as the Prime Minister of SriLanka," the high commission said in a tweet.
"India's commitment to the people of Sri Lanka will continue," it added.
Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down as the prime minister on Monday, following violent incidents reported between pro-government groups and anti-government protesters.
In 2018, a political tussle with the powerful Rajapaksa family also threw the country into crisis with Mahinda taking over the premiership for six weeks before the Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional.
Wickremesinghe returns to the office to replace Mahinda Rajapaksa, who resigned on Monday after his supporters attacked anti-government demonstrators, and later had to be rescued from his residence by the military.
In his sixth term, Wickremesinghe will be taking charge of a bankrupt nation in default of its $51-billion foreign debt and without money to import essential goods.