|President Ranil Wickremesinghe (bloomberg.com)|
Sri Lanka is an island country located in South Asia, in which the Rajapaksa family has dominated the country’s politics for the past two decades. Due to problems including nepotism among the political class, the collapse of tourism, and shortages of essential goods, Sri Lanka has faced one of the worst financial crises in decades. The country suspended foreign debt payments on April 12th, followed by bankruptcy on June 18th. On July 9th, the protesters in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, stormed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s official residence: inflation had reached 50%, and citizens were suffering from a severe shortage of food and medicine. As a result, President Rajapaksa fled the country on a military jet and then resigned over e-mail. To replace Gotabaya Rajapaksa, on July 20th, the Parliament of Sri Lanka elected Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the country’s new president. Official results showed Wickremesinghe received 134 out of 219 votes. After Wickremesinghe was elected, he announced, “This will be a difficult and bitter journey, but we can get relief at the end of this journey. Progress can be made.” He will serve the rest of the presidential term until November 2024. The new center of interest is whether the new president will solve the country’s crisis within his short presidential term.
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