– Newly elected Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday named his brother Mahinda as Prime Minister, cementing the grip on power of a clan credited with crushing the Tamil Tigers a decade ago.
Mahinda, a two-term president himself, is due to be sworn in as premier on Thursday following the resignation of Ranil Wickremesinghe after his party suffered a humiliating defeat at the weekend’s presidential polls.
The Rajapaksa brothers are credited with brutally destroying the Tamil Tigers to end Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war, with the security services they controlled accused of war crimes and multiple human rights abuses.
A spokesman for the new administration said Rajapaksa, 74, will be sworn in by his younger brother Gotabaya, aged 70.
“Prime Minister Rajapaksa will have his cabinet appointed shortly after taking his oath of office,” said spokesman Vijayananda Herath.
Gotabaya was defence secretary under Mahinda during his decade as president which ended in January 2015.