Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister is Ranil Wickremesinghe

Ranil Wickremesinghe, the leader of the United National Party (UNP), was sworn in as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka today after closed-door talks with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday evening. This follows Mahinda Rajapaksa’s resignation on Monday.

Former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, his son Namal Rajapaksa, and 15 others were barred from travelling on Thursday by a Sri Lankan court. Mahinda is now being guarded at the naval facility in Trincomalee. According to Reuters, the Fort Magistrate’s Court has prevented them from travelling abroad because of the ongoing investigation into the attacks on the nonviolent protest sites of GotaGoGama and MynaGoGama on Monday.

Meanwhile, after violent protests this week left eight people dead in an escalation of a months-long crisis over food and fuel shortages, Gotabaya Rajapaksa has refused calls to resign, promising instead to establish a new government. His brother Mahinda Rajapaksa had resigned as prime minister, resulting in the dissolution of the cabinet, leaving no government in place to engage with the IMF and creditors over the $8.6 billion debt due this year.