Sri Lanka (MNN) — Ranil Wickremesinghe has been elected President of Sri Lanka. Parliament voted him in 134-82. He had served as the Prime Minister since May. Now, he will finish out the term in 2024.
In fact, Wickremesinghe has served as Prime Minister five separate times in his career. He comes from a wealthy family and has made himself a staple of Sri Lankan politics. For this reason, the protestors see him as one of the insiders they want to get rid of.
They demanded Wickremesinghe’s resignation earlier in July. Crowds burned down his private residence and stormed his office as well. Greg Yoder with Christian World Outreach says, “People are still not satisfied. And they’re expecting results, maybe faster than they can happen. So there’s still rioting going on, still long lines waiting to get fuel.”
Sri Lankan officials say the country will restrict fuel imports for 12 months, meaning that the crisis won’t end any time soon. Yoder describes gas station parking lots packed with people sitting on motorcycles or other small vehicles. “Now that it’s been going on for a while, there’s a safety aspect. People are starting to get upset when they sit in lines for long periods. And they’re limited on how much fuel they can purchase.”
Sri Lankan Christians continue gathering together in each other’s homes, praying for the country. Yoder says, “We’ve been sharing with them that they can be a part of the solution. If they do have something, they can share that with neighbors. And it opens the door for them to share the Gospel.”
The header photo shows Ranil Wickremesinghe (pictured right) in 2015. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of State from United States, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)