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Sri Lanka

Embattled Sri Lanka president replaces prime minister in closed ceremony

Gotabaya Rajapaksa turns to past PM Wickremesinghe as economy teeters on brink

Ranil Wickremesinghe, newly appointed prime minister, arrives at a Buddhist temple after his swearing-in ceremony in Colombo on May 12.   © Reuters

COLOMBO -- Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed five-time Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe back to the post on Thursday evening in a ceremony that was not open to the media, the latest development in the country's political and economic turmoil.

The 73-year-old Wickremesinghe, whose United National Party holds just one seat out of 225 in the country's parliament, held closed-door discussions with Rajapaksa on Wednesday night during which he accepted the position, according to sources.

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