Mahinda Rajapaksa sworn in as new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's new President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has named his older brother and former president Mahinda as prime minister

"I wish to congratulate and extend my warmest wishes to Hon Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister of the Democratic, Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka", Gotabaya Rajapaksa tweeted after the swearing-in ceremony.

Muttiah Muralitharan, the famous Sri Lanka off-spinner of yesteryear, is tipped as a governor of Northern Province following the presidential elections that gave a clear majority to Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a former defence minister of the island nation who in his term defeated Tamil terrorists headed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, media reports said, citing anger in the Tamil minority community.

The swearing in ceremony was attended by former President Maithripala Sirisena, former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, former Ministers and several other dignitaries.

He also extended an invitation to his Sri Lankan counterpart to visit Pakistan and lauded the progress made by Sri Lanka during Gotabaya's two terms as president.

"Congratulations and best wishes to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa".

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His brother, the current president, then served as a powerful secretary to the Ministry of Defense. He is set to be the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party's candidate in the parliamentary election expected around April.

The siblings face a tall order to revive Sri Lanka's economy, which is in its deepest slump in almost two decades following Easter Sunday attacks that killed over 250 people in churches and hotels.

Gotabaya, who oversaw the defeat of Tamil separatists as his brother's defence chief a decade ago, won the election after promising to secure the country against militant threats.

Rights groups and minorities have accused the brothers of committing human rights violations and fear ethnic tensions could flare up again now that they have returned to power, Reuters reports.

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