KATHMANDU, Nov 21: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Thursday congratulated newly-appointed Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Oli took to Twitter to congratulate Rajapaksa. "I warmly congratulate Your Excellency
@PresRajapaksa on your election as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. I look forward to working closely with you in further strengthening traditionally warm and cordial Nepal- Sri Lanka ties. I wish you a successful tenure of office," Oli said.
Sri Lanka’s newly elected president Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday swore in his elder brother, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, as prime minister, cementing the powerful family’s political comeback.
The appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa, 74, came hours after the former premier Ranil Wickremesinghe tendered his resignation following the defeat of his party’s candidate in a presidential election to Gotabaya Rajapaksa over the weekend.
It is the first time in Sri Lankan history that two siblings have held the two top political positions, although Mahinda is only in charge of a caretaker government until parliamentary elections next year.
In a ceremony in the capital Colombo on Thursday, Gotabaya swore in his brother as their respective wives, sons and daughters-in-law looked on.
“I wish to congratulate and extend my warmest wishes to Hon Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister of the Democratic, Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka,” Gotabaya tweeted afterwards.
Gotabaya, 70, had earlier served as defense chief under his brother Mahinda, who himself served as president from 2005-2015.