09th August 2020 15:43:33 Hours
Hon Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka by HE the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa this morning (9) during a state ceremony at the historic Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya, one of the most sacred Buddhist places of worship, consecrated by the visit of Lord Buddha centuries ago.
A large gathering of members of the Maha Sangha, including the Chief Incumbent of Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya, Ven Dr Kollupitiye Sri Sangharakkitha Nayake Thera, First Lady, Mrs Ioma Rajapaksa, Mrs Shiranthi Rajapaksa, spouse of Hon Prime Minister, former President Maithripala Sirisena, Diplomats, Governors, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentarians-elect, relatives and well-wishers were at the temple premises to witness the day's ceremony.
Hon Mahinda Rajapaksa on arrival called on the Chief Incumbent, Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya, Ven Dr Kollupitiye Sri Sangharakkitha Nayake Thera before he was ushered to the special dais, erected by the side of the shrine in the sacred premises. At the auspicious minute, HE the President, flanked by Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Navy and Air Force Commanders swore Hon Mahinda Rajapaksa in as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka after reciting the national anthem. Amid 'Seth Pirith' chanting of the Maha Sangha, the new Prime Minister took the oath and delivered the symbolically signed document back to the President. Dr P. B Jayasundera, Secretary to the President was also present.
After a while, the new Prime Minister, together with family relatives made offerings to the Buddha and joined religious performances. He also did not forget to greet the well-wishers who were present at the location before the day's simple ceremony culminated.
Hon Mahinda Rajapakasa was elected to Parliament on 5th August 2020 with the highest number of preferential votes ever recorded by a single candidate in Sri Lankan parliamentary history with 527,364 votes from the Kurunegala District. He has held the post of Prime Minister on three previous occasions and was Sri Lanka’s 05th Executive President from 2005 to 2015.