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Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in Sri Lanka PM

Sri Lanka PM  

United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in Sri Lanka as Prime Minister for the fourth time. President Maithripala Sirisena administered oath of office to Mr. Wickremesinghe at a brief ceremony attended by leaders of various parties including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

On the occasion, general secretaries of the UNP and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Kabir Hashim and Duminda Dissanayake, signed an agreement to form a national government.

Mr. Wickremesinghe, who has been a Member of Parliament since 1977, became the prime minister for the first time in May 1993 after the then incumbent D.B. Wijetunga was made President, subsequent to the assassination of R. Premadasa. Ranil Wickremesighe has held the position of Prime Minister of the country on three earlier occasions i.e. in 1993-94, 2002-2004 and from January 2015 to August 2015.

In 2001, he was elected as the Prime Minister for the second time after the United National Front got a majority of seats in the parliamentary elections. In January this year when Maithripala Sirisena defeated Mr Rajapaksa in the presidential elections, he made Mr Wickremesinghe the Prime Minister as part of a pre-poll understanding.

Sirimavo Bandaranaike of the SLFP was the only other person to become Prime Minister four times since Sri Lanka's independence. She held the post during July 1960-March 1965; May 1970-May 1972; May 1972-July 1977 and November 1994-August 2000. Dudley Senanayake, one of the UNP's stalwarts of yesteryear, held the post thrice - March 1952-October 1953; March 1960-July 1960 and March 1965-May 1970.