Dinesh Gunawardena: close ally of the Rajapaksa family, now Sri Lanka’s new PM

Dinesh Gunawardena was sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

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Shortly after Ranil Wickremesinghe won the presidency in a parliamentary vote, Dinesh Gunawardena, a veteran politician takes charge as the Prime Minister of the country as it is grappled with widespread protests.

Dinesh Gunawardena is the leader of the Trotskyist majority nationalist Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP), a constituent party of the ruling party of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party. He has held several cabinet posts in the past.

He belongs to a prominent political family in Sri Lanka and is a close ally of the Rajapaksa family. His father, Phillip Gunawardena was a prominent leader in Sri Lanka’s leftist movement against the British.

Dinesh Gunawardena started his career as a parliamentarian in 1983 and became the face of the opposition until 1994. He was later appointed a cabinet minister in 2000 and switched several portfolios till 2015. He returned to the cabinet in 2020.

With the new Prime Minister being appointed, the former finance minister, Ali Sabry takes oath. As the new Foreign Affairs Minister of the Island Nation.

Dinesh Gunawardena’s connection to Rajapaksa’s

As the country witnesses economic collapse and food shortages. Dinesh Gunawardena walks a tight rope as he was also a close ally of the Rajapaksa’s. Since they were blamed for the economic mismanagement of the country with the brothers in .

Ahead of the swearing-in, the police and military had cleared a large protest site in Galle Face in Colombo arresting and injuring several. It is also reported that journalists on the scene were beaten up by the authorities.