Hours after winning the parliamentary vote on Wednesday, Ranil Wickremesinghe appeared to distance himself from the Rajapaksa family that has dominated politics in Sri Lanka for decades.
“I am not a friend of the Rajapaksas. I am a friend of the people,” he told reporters after praying at a Buddhist temple in the commercial capital Colombo.
Wickremesinghe, who earlier served as prime minister and finance minister under Rajapaksa, has been involved in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bail out package worth up to $3 billion.
Sri Lanka’s President-elect Ranil Wickremesinghe mocked claims he was an old friend of the former president’s family when questioned by Sky News.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 20, 2022