A new report shows Sri Lanka is now ranked at 71 out of 189 countries in the HDI, the highest rank out of all its neighbouring countries.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa spearheaded the military operation that ended his country's years-long insurgency but alienated minorities along the way.
Newly elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa can now appoint a caretaker government, dissolve Parliament next March and force new elections, or wait until next August when Parliament’s term ends.
Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya administered the oath of office to Rajapaksa at the ancient Ruwanweli Seya Buddhist temple in northcentral Sri Lanka.
Former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa's family is eyeing a comeback after a decade in power remembered by supporters for crushing the Tamil militants. His main opponent Sajith Premadasa is vowing security and development in the island nation.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will not be seeking a second term, paving the way for a record 35 candidates competing for the top job.
Sri Lanka goes to the polls on Saturday, and a minority vote could decide who will eventually rule the tiny island country.
Sluggish economic growth, national security, endemic corruption and deep ethnic and religious divisions in the South Asian nation will be key issues at the upcoming polls.
Sri Lankan police have questioned former president Mahinda Rajapakse as part of an investigation into the abduction of a journalist during the country's civil war 10 years ago.
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