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New PM Wickremesinghe vows to uplift Sri Lanka’s economy, hopes to strengthen ties with India

Sri Lanka’s new prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday vowed to work on uplifting the island nation’s economy, adding that he hopes to strengthen ties with India during his tenure.

United National Party (UNP) Chief Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the new PM of Sri Lanka on May 12. (File Photo: Reuters)

Shortly after being appointed as Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday said he has taken up the challenge of uplifting the island nation’s crisis-ridden economy and added that ties with India will get much better under his government.

Wickremesinghe, who is the leader of the United National Party (UNP), was sworn in as the prime minister by Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Colombo today. He had previously served as the Sri Lankan prime minister on five occasions.

“I have taken on a challenge of uplifting the economy and I must fulfill it,” Wickremesinghe told reporters.

Answering a question on India-Sri Lanka ties after his appointment, he said, “It will become much better.”

ALSO READ | Ranil Wickremesinghe returns as Sri Lanka PM to mend economy, curb civil unrest

“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,” 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.

ALSO READ | India looks forward to working with new government of Sri Lanka: Indian High Commission

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