COLOMBO – President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday (Oct 26) sacked his Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed former president Mahinda Rajapakse as the new premier, the president’s office said.
A private television network loyal to Mr Rajapakse televised him being sworn in as the new prime minister, replacing Mr Wickremesinghe.
There was no immediate word from Wickremesinghe, who helped Mr Sirisena win the January 2015 elections against Mr Rajapakse.
The surprise move comes after disagreements between Mr Sirisena and Mr Wickremesinghe over economic policy and day-to-day administration of the government.
The pair were reported to have clashed in Cabinet last week over government plans to lease a port terminal to neighbouring India.
Mr Wickremesinghe’s government came to power promising economic reforms and accountability for atrocities committed in Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war during Mr Rajapakse’s presidency.