Mahinda Rajapaksa takes oaths as 13th prime minister (video/pictures)

Sunday, 09 August 2020 - 9:40

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Mahinda Rajapaksa took oaths at Kelaniya Rajamaha Vihara as the prime minister of the new government a short while ago.

His swearing-in happened before president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

After the national anthem was sung, the religious activities were conducted by Ven. Prof. Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangharakkitha Nayake Thera.

Present at the event at Kelaniya Rajamaha Vihara were Buddhist and other religious clergy, commanders of the armed forces, ministers and MP-elects, the Hiru News correspondent reports.

This was the fourth time for Mahinda Rajapaksa to take oaths as the PM and he became the 13th premier overall.

President Rajapaksa embraced his elder brother, the PM, and worshipped him after his swearing-in.

Later, both paid homage to Lord Buddha at the shrine room of the temple.

PM Rajapaksa also greeted the public gathered there.

Hiru TV brought the official live telecast of the proceedings.

Contesting the 2020 general election from Kurunegala district, Mahinda Rajapaksa polled the highest ever preferential votes of 527,364.

Born as the second son of a family of nine siblings on 18 November 1945, he had his education at Richmond College, Galle, Nalanda College, Colombo and Thurston College, Colombo.

After studying at the Law College and practising as a lawyer, he first got elected to parliament at the general election on 27 May 1970 as the youngest member at the age of 24 years.

He has led several democratic struggles and has been a close ally of the working people.

He held the labour portfolio from 1994 and the fisheries and aquatic resources portfolio later on.

Becoming the prime minister in 2004 for the first time, he was elected as the fifth executive president at the 2005 election.

After failing the peace talks with the LTTE that was wreaking havoc in the entire country at the time he assumed office, he launched the humanitarian operation.

As the commander in chief, he ended the war on 18 May 2009 and restored peace to the country.

Assuming duties again as the PM in October 2018, he again took oaths in the position after his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa was elected the president.