00:02 GMT31 March 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Prime Minister Ranil Wickeremesinghe announced his resignation earlier in the day, claiming that the decision was made to respect the mandate given to Rajapaksa at the presidential election.

    Sri Lanka's new president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, will name former president and elder brother Mahinda as the country’s next prime minister - hours after Wickeremesinghe announced that he was stepping down from the post. The two brothers are credited with ending a decades-long civil war by crushing the Tamil Tigers a decade ago.

    Government spokesman Vijayananda Herath said Rajapaksa will assume the duties of premier soon after incumbent Wickremesinghe steps down on Thursday morning.

    Wickeremesinghe resigned from the post after opposition presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa won the presidential election on 17 November, with thumping support across the nation with over 52% of the total votes cast.

    Over a dozen members of the cabinet have resigned and the new president has indicated that a 15-member cabinet will take charge until next year's parliamentary election.

    Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former defence secretary of Sri Lanka, was sworn in for a five-year term as the island nation's seventh president on 18 November, two days after winning election to the office. He replaces Maithripala Sirisena in the post.

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    Tags:
    civil war, LTTE, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Mahinda Rajapaksa, President, Sri Lanka
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