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Sri Lanka's new leader appoints his PM brother as Finance Minister

FILE PHOTO: Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his brother and former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was appointed as the new Prime Minister, look on during the swearing in ceremony in Colombo, Sri Lanka November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte/File Photo

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka’s newly-elected leader Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, the current Prime Minister, as the interim government’s new finance minister, state television showed in a live telecast on Friday.

Mahinda, a former Sri Lankan president, took the oath as the Minister of Finance and Economic Policy Development. He was also put in charge of Buddhist, Cultural and Religious Affairs, as well as Urban Development and Water Supply and Housing, the swearing-in ceremony telecast from the presidential secretariat showed.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s eldest brother Chamal, a legislator, was sworn in as the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation, Internal Trade, and Consumer Welfare.

Reporting by Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Alexandra Ulmer and Christian Schmollinger