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Rajapaksa Sworn In As Sri Lanka's New President

By VOA News November 18, 2019

Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been sworn in as Sri Lanka's new president.

In his inaugural address Monday at the Ruwanwell Seya Buddhist Temple in the north-central region, Rajapaksa urged the minority Tamil and Muslim communities who voted against him to work with him.

Both communities had expressed their concern during the presidential campaign about a victory for Rajapaksa, a hardline former defense official under his older brother, ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The newly-installed president pledged in his address Monday that national security would be a major priority of his administration. Sri Lanka was rocked by the deadly Islamic State-inspired suicide bomb attacks on Easter that killed 269 people.

The new leader, who is 70, oversaw the military defeat of the Tamil separatists 10 years ago.

Rajapaksa's opponent in Saturday's vote was Sajith Premadasa, the 52-year-old son of assassinated ex-president Ranasinghe Premadasa.

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