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The ‘new’ PM will not be a panacea to Sri Lanka’s problems

This week saw the most serious unrest in Sri Lanka since the aftermath of the Easter Bombing in 2019. A month-long protest in Colombo, calling on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign, was attacked by pro-government mobs.

Protesters retaliated swiftly, chasing down those who took part in the attacks, with videos and photos of stripped and beaten Rajapaksa supporters circulating on social media. Eight people died in the ensuing violence across the Sinhala-majority south of the island, with more than 100 properties torched, mostly those linked to the president’s party.

The president’s brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, resigned in the aftermath, fleeing to a navy camp, a notorious torture site, in the Tamil-majority northeast.

He has now been replaced by another old face – the United National Party’s (UNP) Ranil Wickremesinghe, who has occupied the premiership on no fewer than five previous occasions but has never seen out a full term. Wickremesinghe himself

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