Sri Lanka faces constitutional crisis as president sacks Ranil Wickremesinghe, appoints Mahinda Rajapaksa as PM

Colombo: President Maithripala Sirisena Friday sacked his Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new premier, the president's office said.

File image of Mahinda Rajapaksa. AFP

File image of Mahinda Rajapaksa. AFP

A private television network loyal to Rajapaksa televised him being sworn in as the new prime minister, replacing Wickremesinghe.

There was no immediate word from Wickremesinghe, who helped Sirisena win the January 2015 elections against Rajapaksa.

The surprise move comes after disagreements between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe over economic policy and day-to-day administration of the government.

The pair were reported to have clashed in cabinet last week over government plans to lease a port terminal to neighbouring India.

Wickremesinghe's government came to power promising economic reforms and accountability for atrocities committed in Sri Lanka's bloody civil war during Rajapaksa's presidency.

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Updated Date: Oct 27, 2018 08:28 AM

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