Sri Lanka's new President Gotabaya Rajapaksa called a snap election on April 25 after sacking the national parliament where his party led a minority government.
Tamil politicians requested Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa to continue the practice of singing the Tamil translation of the national anthem, recognised by the constitution to give the community a sense of belonging.
The Crime Investigation Department’s Nishantha Silva slipped out of the country with his family days after Gotabaya Rajapaksa was sworn in as the new president.
Newly-elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa picks his elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, a former president, to be the interim prime minister.
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.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a retired lieutenant colonel, nicknamed the "Terminator" by his own family, won 53-54 percent of the vote as his main rival Sajith Premadasa of the ruling party conceded the race.
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.
Maithripala Sirisena has decided not to seek reelection next month. Meanwhile, the 35 candidates for the presidency are the most ever in Sri Lanka.
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