Gotabaya Rajapaksa (File pic)
Gotabaya Rajapaksa (File pic)

Gotabaya Rajapaksa to be sworn-in as Sri Lanka's 7th President today

ANI | Updated: Nov 18, 2019 12:23 IST

Colombo [Sri Lanka], Nov 18 (ANI): Sri Lanka's former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa will be sworn in as the seventh President of the country today.
Rajapaksa, who contested the presidential election held on Saturday from the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), was declared as the President yesterday upon his victory after defeating his main opponent Sajith Premadasa of the ruling United National Party, The Daily Mirror (SL) reported.
The SLPP said that the swearing-in ceremony will take place today and the President-elect will visit the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi and Ruwanweliseya to seek blessings prior to the oath-taking ceremony.
SLPP and Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, Party's Chairman professor G.L. Peiris, it's National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa, and a large number of parliamentarians will attend the ceremony.
Rajapaksa, who has been credited for having crushed the Tamil Tigers 10 years ago, focused his campaign on his credentials as the defence secretary that brought a close to the bloody 26-year civil war, while also calling for an overhaul of economic policies implemented by Premadasa's UNP during its five-year charge of the parliament.
After announcing his victory yesterday, Rajapaksa said, "As we usher in a new journey for Sri Lanka, we must remember that all Sri Lankans are part of this journey."
In a tweet, he said he was grateful for the opportunity to be the President, not only of those who voted for him but as the President of all Sri Lankans.
"The trust you have invested in me is deeply moving and being your President will be the greatest honour of my life -Let's put our vision into action!" he said.
The 2019 Sri Lankan presidential election makes history as the SLPP, a new party formed two years ago scored a major victory at a Presidential election. It is also noteworthy that for the first time Sri Lanka elected a non-politician to lead the country.
Rajapaksa, a former defence secretary and brother of two-time former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, based his campaign on providing strong leadership on national security issues, following coordinated bombings in April that killed at least 269 people. (ANI)