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Sri Lanka : Ranil Wickremesinghe Elected As President

Sri Lanka’s acting President, Ranil Wickremesinghe elected as the President of Sri Lanka after the former President flew the country because of public agitation due to the country’s worsening economic conditions. The protests regarding this started on the Sri Lankan streets ten days ago.

The newly elected President, Ranil Wickremesinghe, defeated Sri Lanka Podujana Penamura (SLPP) rebel leader Dullas Alahapperuma, supported by the opposition. Wickremesinghe, who was the acting President after former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa left the country, got most of his support from Rajapaksa’s SLPP, the largest bloc in the 225-member Parliament. 

Wickremesinghe, a six-time Prime Minister, polled 134 votes. Second in line was his opponent, Alahapperuma, who secured a total of 82 seats, followed by the leftist front leader, Anura Dissanayake, securing only three of 225 seats. 

As acting President, Wickremesinghe extended a state of emergency in the country that vests powers with the country’s police and security forces. He is despised by the group of protesters who see him as another ally of Rajapaksa, who was held responsible for the present economic state of the country. During the protests, the mob barged into the Presidential residence. This state of political and economic instability had resulted in the announcement of Emergency. 

The Sri Lankan Situation : 

The 73-year-old President is now in charge of a bankrupt country in regular negotiations with the IMF and whose 22 million citizens are dealing with serious food, fuel, and medical shortages.

A crisis that has no simple solution has been brought on by fuel scarcity, rising food costs globally, the shock of irregular climatic patterns, disastrous policy errors, and the coronavirus pandemic. The country rests at the disposal of others, be it donors, lenders or any person or organization that might be a helping hand for this collapsing nation. 

Sri Lanka might be rare in one respect: the nation's outrage over the incompetence and corruption of the governing class has been matched by benevolence and resourcefulness to avoid total downfall and anarchy. 

Role of India : 

India’s top diplomat had held talks with Sri Lanka’s President, and Prime Minister as New Delhi affirmed its willingness to go beyond the USD 4 billion in loans, swaps and aid it has already provided Sri Lanka with. Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also believes that no other country has supported Sri Lanka as India has in terms of food, fuel, medicines and other necessities. 

Sri Lanka claims that India was trying to politically influence the state of the nation and that it had a role in assisting Rajapaksa in fleeing to the Maldives. The Indian High Commission in Colombo released a statement on Twitter that described the speculative media reports as "a figment of someone's imagination". Reaffirmed India's support for achieving the goals of the people of Sri Lanka through democratic methods. Additionally, it stated that India does not meddle in the internal affairs or democratic functioning of any other nation.

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