Colombo, Sri Lanka – President of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed Former President of Maldives and current Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed as his International Climate Advisor.
Speaker Nasheed was appointed to the position alongside Norwegian former Minister Erik Solheim although it is unclear what exactly the new role will entail to them both.
SriLankan President, Ranil Wickremesinghe has since come under public scrutiny for appointing two controversial figures as his advisors.
Then Prime Minister Wickremesinghe appointed Speaker Nasheed as liaison to coordinate relief efforts for Sri Lanka amid the country’s worst economic crisis in recent history in May 2022.
Speaker Nasheed came under heavy outrage by the Sri Lankan public after local news reported his involvement in assisting of Sri Lanka’s ousted Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to escape Sri Lanka to Maldives. Nasheed was also spotted at Velana International Airport prior to Gotabaya‘s arrival.
Solheim was also a controversial figure in Sri Lanka during his tenure as peace negotiator during the ceasefire agreement (CFA) signed by then Prime Minister Ranil Wickrmesinghe and Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran.
The CFA, signed in 2002, continued till 2006 until the resumption of hostilities between government forces and the LTTE. At the time, Solheim came under harsh criticism by nationalist parties and forces aligned with the then Rajapaksa administration, who claimed he and the West were biased against Sri Lanka.