Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as Sri Lankan PM at a Buddhist ceremony

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Ranil-WickramasingheRanil Wickremesinghe was sworn in on 21 August as Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister after winning a general election. H also agreed with President Maithripala Sirisena’s party to form a national unity government in a bid to push ahead with the much-needed reforms.

Wickremesinghe, 66, was sworn in at a Buddhist ceremony in the presence of Sirisena thus cementing an alliance between the two that fought off a comeback bid by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

His United National Party (UNP), which won the poll, but fell seven seats short of an majority, will team up with Sirisena loyalists in the Sri Lankan Freedom Party (SLFP).  Formation of the coalition will catapult Sirisena into a position to advance reforms begun when he quit Rajapaksa’s government.

These include changes to the constitution to make the government more open and accountable and simplify its complex election rules.

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