Sri Lanka President ready for a general election as soon as possible

Sri Lanka President ready for a general election as soon as possible”

In the lead-up to the presidential vote, Rajapaksa's campaign stressed on his credentials as the defence secretary which 10 years ago brought to a close the bloody 26-year civil war between government forces and Tamil rebels.

New Delhi made its intentions clear when Indian external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar rushed to the South Asian island on Tuesday to meet President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was sworn in the day before.

Mahinda, the elder and more charismatic of the brothers, was unable to run for president, having already served the maximum of two terms between 2005 and 2015, clearing the way for his sibling.

For the same reason, they are feared by many Tamils, and also among the Muslim minority who have seen increased hostility since Islamist extremist attacks killed 269 people in April.

The Sri Lankan Prime Minister thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan for his felicitations and said that he looked forward to working together to further strengthen Sri Lanka-Pakistan relations.

His economic manifesto targets average growth of at least 6.5 percent, compared with 3.2 percent in 2018, but economists are anxious his plans may strain coffers.

Sri Lanka President ready for a general election as soon as possible Fri, Nov 22, 2019, 02:31 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund released the latest tranche of a $1.5 billion bailout that was suspended in October 2018 during a constitutional crisis previous year. Managing a record USA $3 billion in annual external debt repayments over the next five years will be another challenge.

"I wish to congratulate and extend my warmest wishes to Hon Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister of the Democratic, Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka", Gotabaya tweeted afterwards.

Former President Maithripala Sirisena and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who officially stepped down Thursday morning, were also present at the ceremony.

President Rajapaksa called on his ministers to recruit persons with the skills and expertise when making appointments to the ministries so that there will be no allegations of recruiting unqualified people from their electorates.

The caretaker government not have majority in parliament and will carry routine work till parliamentary elections are held.

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