Ranil Wickremesinghe, newly appointed prime minister, arrives at a Buddhist temple after his swearing-in ceremony, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 12, 2022. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

 Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the country’s acting president on Friday, a government official said.

Wickremesinghe had already taken on the role after former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country on Wednesday following months of anti-government protests.

Sri Lanka’s parliament has accepted ousted president Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation, ending rule by a family that wielded power for nearly 20 years.

Rajapaksa quit after fleeing to Singapore amid mass protests over his mismanagement of the economy.

Sri Lanka is in the grip of economic chaos as it faces an acute shortage of food, fuel and other basic supplies.

Rajapaksa’s resignation paves the way for the country to begin the process of electing a new president.

Sri Lanka’s speaker of parliament, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, said on Friday that he accepted Rajapaksa’s resignation, which he received late on Thursday.

SOURCE: REUTERS AND AGENCIES

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