Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the new Sri Lankan President on Thursday amid continuing agitation by anti-government protesters who rally against him for being a Rajapaksa ally and raise slogans “Go back, Ranil”.
The swearing in ceremony took place before Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya inside Parliament.
The 73-year-old Wickremesinghe, who was Acting President after his predecessor Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigned
was elected as the eighth Executive President on Wednesday by Members of Parliament. Rajapaksa resigned on July 14.
The ongoing Galle Face Green protest will continue as protesters have decided to keep the Presidential Secretariat occupied even after Wickremesinghe was elected as President.
“Today’s Parliament proved that they are not with people. As a result of the appointment of an anti-people ruler, the protest continues. We are aiming to achieve the necessary economic, political, and social stability through this struggle,” Fr. Jeevantha Peiris said.
Anti-government protesters continued to rally against Wickremesinghe. They gathered outside the presidential residence, which they had stormed last week, and chanted “Go back, Ranil”.
Addressing the Parliament after his victory on Wednesday, Wickremesinghe asked the country to move on.
“I need not tell you what state our country is in,” he said. “People are not expecting the old politics from us. They expect us to work together. Now that the election is over, we have to end this division,” he added.