CHENNAI: Ranil Wickremesinghe, a political veteran who has been prime minister of the island nation five times before, faces the daunting task of leading his country through its worst economic crisis since independence.
Rajapaksa, whose elder brother Wickremesinghe replaced as Prime Minister, has called nationwide curfews and given security forces sweeping powers to shoot at anyone involved in looting or putting people's lives at risk.
Let's get to know about the political veteran:
Wickremesinghe, who has served as the Prime Minister five times, was administered the oath of office by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Wickremesinghe, a political veteran now faces the crucial task of leading his country through its worst economic crisis since independence.
The UNP, the oldest party in the country, had failed to win a single seat from districts, including Wickremesinghe who contested from the UNP stronghold Colombo in 2020 parliamentary polls.
He is known as a man who could manage the economy with far-sighted policies, and is perceived as the Sri Lankan politician who could command international cooperation.
He graduated from University of Ceylon and qualified as an Advocate from the Ceylon Law College in 1972.
Earlier, he served as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka from 1993 to 1994, 2001 to 2004, 2015 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019 and has served as Leader of the Opposition from 1994 to 2001 and from 2004 to 2015.
On 8 January 2015, Wickremesinghe was appointed as Prime Minister by President Maithripala Sirisena, who had defeated President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the 2015 Presidential election.