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Gotabaya Rajapaksa takes oath as Sri Lankan President

PTI Colombo | Updated on November 18, 2019 Published on November 18, 2019

Gotabaya Rajapaksa sworn-in as Sri Lankan President at the Ruwanweli Seya precincts.   -  Reuters

Sri Lanka’s controversial wartime defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was on Monday sworn-in as the country’s President at the Ruwanweli Seya precincts in the ancient north central town of Anuradhapura.

The newly-elected president worshipped at the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, a sacred fig tree in the Mahamewna Gardens and Ruwanweli Seya, a stupa and a hemispherical structure containing relics and considered sacred to many Buddhists all over the world, in the town. “Sustaining the victory is more important than the journey towards it,” Rajapaksa said in a tweet before the swearing-in ceremony.

 

His elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was the country’s president from 2005 to 2015, former Minister Basil Rajapaska and a large number of dignitaries, including parliamentarians, took part in the oath-taking ceremony. Rajapaksa, 70, defeated Sajith Premadasa, 52, by more than 13 lakh votes, the election commission announced on Sunday.

Read more: Gotabaya Rajapaksa wins Sri Lankan presidential election

He will succeed President Maithripala Sirisena for a five-year term. Rajapaksa secured 52.25 per cent votes (6,924,255), while Premadasa bagged 41.99 per cent (5,564,239) of the total votes polled. Other candidates got 5.76 per cent votes. The overall voter turnout at the election was around 83.73 per cent, Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said.

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Published on November 18, 2019
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