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Ranil Wickremesinghe was today sworn in as Sri Lanka's interim president until Parliament elects a successor to Gotabaya Rajapaksa. 73-year-old Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the acting president of Sri Lanka before Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, the prime minister’s office said in a statement.

Rajapaksa resigned in the face of massive protests against his government for mishandling the economy that bankrupted the country. The 73-year-old leader on Thursday emailed his resignation letter to the Speaker soon after he was allowed by Singapore to enter the city-state on a "private visit".

Sri Lanka is going through the worst economic crisis since its independence from Britain in 1948 and needs to obtain at least USD 4 billion to tide over the acute shortage in foreign exchange reserves.

The island nation's inflation topped 50 per cent in June after two years of money printing and an attempted float botched with a surrender requirement which sent the rupee sliding to 360 to the US dollar from 200.

Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million people, is under the grip of an unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst in seven decades, leaving millions struggling to buy food, medicine, fuel and other essentials. In several major cities, including Colombo, hundreds are forced to stand in line for hours to buy fuel, sometimes clashing with police and the military as they wait.

 

 

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