Former President and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn-in as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for the fourth time, before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara this morning.
Prime Minister Rajapaksa was sworn in at the auspicious time as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka’s 9th Parliament before the President and President’s Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundare amidst Pirith Chanting and blessings by the Maha Sangha.
President Rajapaksa paid his respect to his elder brother, the newly appointed Premier, and the two brothers embraced each other before paying homage to The Buddha at the Temple’s shrine.
The Maha Sangha led by Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara Chief Incumbent Venerable Professor Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangharakkhitha Thera chanted the Jaya Piritha to bless the new Premier, the President and the newly elected members of parliament.
The swearing-in ceremony of the new Premier was attended by the members of the clergy, former president and newly elected MP Maithripala Sirisena, the Governors, First Lady Ioma Rajapaksa, Mrs. Shiranthi Rajapaksa and family members of Prime Minister Rajapaksa, Commanders of the Tri-forces, newly elected members of parliament, envoys of foreign mission and other distinguished guests.
A large crowd wearing masks was seen thronged at the Temple to witness the swearing in ceremony of Mr. Rajapaksa, who has served twice as the President and thrice as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
At the conclusion of the ceremony both President and Prime Minister greeted the public gathered at the venue.
At last Wednesday’s General Election, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) led by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa secured a comfortable two thirds majority making way for the establishment of a strong government.
Contesting from Kurunegala District in the recently concluded General Election, Mr. Rajapaksa received a record-breaking 527,364 Preferential Votes, the highest number of votes a candidate ever received.
This was the first time Mr. Rajapaksa was sworn-in at a temple and interestingly, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa chose the Ruwanweliseya in Anuradhapura for his swearing-in ceremony in November last year.
Completing five decades in active politics, Prime Minister Rajapaksa entered the Parliament in 1970 for the first time and played a pivotal role as a Cabinet Minister during 1995-2004 period.
First elected as the Prime Minister in 2004, Mr. Rajapaksa was sworn in as the Prime Minister for the second time on October 26, 2018. The third time he was sworn in as the Prime Minister was on November 21, 2019.
During his 10-year tenure as the Executive President, Mr. Rajapaksa was able to eradicate the three-decade old terrorism from the country and to accelerate country’s economic development.
Mr. Rajapaksa will go down in history as the first ever Sri Lankan to become Prime Minister for four times after serving two terms as the Executive President.