Sri Lanka’s PM Mahinda Rajapaksa Sworn in Again

  • Mahinda Rajapaksa's younger brother, and Sri Lankan President, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, administered him the oath of Prime Minister.
  • Mahinda Rajapaksa had been the President of the country for nearly a decade, between 2005 and 2015.
  • The SLPP needed 150 seats in the parliamentary elections, which is necessary for constitutional changes.

Mahinda Rajapaksa, 74 year-old leader of the Sri Lanka People’s Party (SLPP), was sworn in as the country’s Prime Minister for the fourth time on Sunday. The swearing-in ceremony was held for Sri Lanka’s Ninth Parliament at the historic Buddhist temple, “Rajmaha Vihar,” in Kelaniya, a suburb of North Colombo.

Parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka were held on 5 August 2020 to elect 225 members to Sri Lanka’s 16th Parliament. The incumbent Sri Lanka People’s Freedom Alliance coalition claimed a landslide victory in the election, winning 145 seats, while Samagi Jana Balawegaya won 54 seats and National People’s Power won 3 seats.

Mahinda Rajapaksa‘s younger brother, and Sri Lankan President, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, administered him the oath of Prime Minister. After this, the two brothers prayed together in Rajmaha Vihar.

The entire program was broadcast live from the official Facebook page of the President. On this occasion, the entire Rajapaksa family was present in Rajmaha Vihar.

For the past two decades, the Rajapaksa family has had a good grasp of Sri Lankan politics. Political analysts believe that “now their hold on Sri Lankan power will become stronger.”

His party-led coalition won a resounding victory in Sri Lanka’s general election by winning a two-thirds majority. In Sri Lanka, 6,800,000 voters exercised their franchise, and the voting percentage was 59.9.

It is believed that “this two-thirds majority will prove to be important for amending the Constitution to strengthen and strengthen the Rajapaksa family’s hold on power.”

According to local media, there will be an oath-taking program of new cabinet members in Sri Lanka on Monday, after which the state and deputy ministers will take the oath. The newly elected government has decided to limit the number of ministers in the cabinet to 26. However, it can be increased to 30 under the provisions of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

Prime Minister and “King”

Mahinda Rajapaksa had been the President of the country for nearly a decade, between 2005 and 2015. Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, were once described as close to China. It is also said that their relations with western countries are not good.

However, political analysts are of the opinion that Sri Lanka’s foreign policy is constantly changing, and Sri Lanka is now trying to improve relations with India.

Mahinda Rajapaksa is said to be quite sociable, his speech style is different from other leaders. He has been popular among the majority Sinhalese people for a long time, and many of his fans also call him “King.” It is not long when an attempt is made to tell people through a song on government television how the “King” saved the country from the Tamil rebels.

During the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE or “Tamil Tigers”), some people wrote poems and songs for them in which they were addressed as “Raja.” However, he was accused of human rights violations, whose pursuers have not given up since the war ended in 2009.

Mahinda Rajapaksa is a Sri Lankan politician serving as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and Minister of Finance since 2019. He previously served as President of Sri Lanka from 2005 to 2015 and was Leader of the Opposition from 2002 to 2004 and 2018 to 2019.

Thousands of common people were killed in the civil war in Sri Lanka. Namal Rajapaksa, the successor of the Rajapaksa family and son of Mahinda Rajapaksa, also won from Hambantota in the general election held on August 5.

Constitutional Change

President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa won the presidential election in November 2019 on an SLPP ticket. When he was sworn in as President, the expectation of the chance of Mahinda Rajapaksa becoming the Prime Minister of the country for the fourth time had increased.

They needed 150 seats in the parliamentary elections, which is necessary for constitutional changes. These include the 19th amendment of the constitution, which has strengthened the role of the Parliament and controlled the powers of the President.

Reacting to the possibilities of amending the constitution, SLPP President GL Peiris said on Friday that “it will be done after much deliberation.” At the press conference, he said, “clearly, some amendments are needed, but when it comes to the governance of the country, it cannot be done in this manner.”

The biggest setback in Sri Lanka’s parliamentary elections was suffered by the United National Party (UNP) of former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, which could win only one seat. The country’s oldest party has failed to win a single seat in 22 districts. Its leader, who has been Prime Minister four times, has suffered a defeat for the first time since 1977.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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