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Ranil Wickremesinghe takes oath as Sri Lankan PM, India hails 'maturity shown by political forces'

Raveesh Kumar said India remains committed to taking forward its people-oriented development projects in Sri Lanka.

Ranil Wickremesinghe takes oath as Sri Lankan PM, India hails 'maturity shown by political forces'

NEW DELHI: Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sunday took oath as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka yet again, ending a 51-day constitutional crisis triggered by the President's controversial move to sack him in a power tussle that had crippled the government in the island nation. He was administered the oath of office by President Maithripala Sirisena.

Hailing the resolution of the political crisis, India on Sunday said that the move is a reflection of the maturity demonstrated by all political forces. "As a close neighbour and true friend, India welcomes the resolution of the political situation in Sri Lanka. This is a reflection of the maturity demonstrated by all political forces, and also of the resilience of Sri Lankan democracy and its institutions," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

Kumar added that India remains committed to taking forward its people-oriented development projects in Sri Lanka. "We are confident that India-Sri Lanka relations will continue to move on an upward trajectory," he said.

Wickremesinghe was sacked from the post in October by the President triggering a political impasse due to his surprising dismissal.

Wickremesinghe, leader of the United National Party (UNP), took his oath of office at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo as hundreds of supporters massed outside. 

Sunday's move comes after Mahinda Rajapakse resigned on Saturday as Prime Minister, seven weeks after he was appointed by Sirisena following Wickremesinghe's dismissal on October 26.

"Today marks a victory not for myself or for the UNP. It is a victory for Sri Lanka's democratic institutions and the sovereignty of our citizens. I thank everyone who stood firm in defending the constitution and ensuring the triumph of democracy," Wickremesinghe said after assuming office.

A new cabinet under Sirisena and Wickremesinghe is expected to be sworn in on Monday. It is expected to be limited to 30 and will include a few Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) members who have offered support to Wickremesinghe.