Crisis-hit With the opposition boycott, Sri Lanka launches its unity government.

Sri Lanka appoints four ministers of a unity government . Opposition parties have branded the new government illegitimate .

COLOMBO (COLOMBO): Sri Lanka appointed the first ministers of a unity government on Saturday, tasked with rescuing the country from its crippling economic crisis, but which has failed to gain opposition.Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was sworn in on Thursday, has attempted to form a cross-party coalition that will begin repairing the island nations' depleted finances.Despite this, opposition parties have branded his government illegitimate, and some lawmakers have demanded new elections.Wickremesinghe has instead been compelled to rely on legislators allied to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, whose government is blamed by many for bringing Sri Lanka's economy to the brink of collapse.

Peiris and the rest of the three people have been elected by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party for public services, urban development, and energy.At a time when Sri Lanka is in negotiations for a desperately needed International Monetary Fund bailout, the all-important finance ministry post remains vacant.Legislators from the SLPP held a closed-door meeting on Saturday, in which they pledged to endorse the new prime minister.We have reservations about Wickremesinghe, but one party legislator told AFP that we decided to endorse him in order to bring the country out of the economic crisis.

For weeks, mass public demonstrations have attacked the president for his administrations' mismanagement and apparent corruption.Hundreds of protesters gather outside his seafront office in Colombo's capital, in a demonstration camp that has since asked the president to resign in the last month.After his supporters attacked peaceful demonstrators, Mahinda Rajapaksa, the president's older brother, resigned as prime minister on Monday.In the subsequent battles, at least nine people were killed and more than 200 were injured, with dozens of Rajapaksa loyalist homes set on fire by angry crowds.

Since regaining control, troops have also resumed operations, and a national curfew has been in place for the bulk of the week.Wickremesinghe told reporters shortly after taking office that the country was going through the worst recession ever.Sri Lanka has been dealing with months of acute food, fuel, and medicine shortages, which Wickremesinghe said could get even worse.