Political crisis ends in Sri Lanka

December 18, 2018 - 9:28

TEHRAN - Ending the political stalemate in the island nation of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the country’s prime minister on Sunday. Making a remarkable comeback weeks after being expelled by President Maithripala Sirisena under controversial circumstances, Wickremesinghe's reinstatement has ended the two-month crisis.

The development is seen as an embarrassment for the president, who had replaced Wickremesinghe with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa following differences over policy matters and other issues.

However, Rajapaksa failed to win a parliamentary majority and resigned on Saturday, paving way for the reinstatement of Wickremesinghe.

Sirisena had repeatedly said he would not reappoint Wickremesinghe as prime minister. But he had to change his stance to gain parliamentary approval for a temporary budget that is required by January 1.

“It is a victory for Sri Lanka's democratic institutions and the sovereignty of our citizens,” Wickremesinghe said in a tweet following his reinstatement. “I thank everyone who stood firm in defending the constitution and ensuring the triumph of democracy.”

Sri Lanka, although a small country, is an important player in the region. It shares close ties with neighboring India and China.

India welcomed the resolution of the political crisis in Sri Lanka. “This is a reflection of the maturity demonstrated by all political forces, and also of the resilience of Sri Lankan democracy and its institutions,” said Raveesh Kumar, spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

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