Sri Lanka’s Sirisena suspends parliament amid political crisis

Maithripala Sirisena sacked PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with Mahinda Rajapakse on Friday night.

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Sri Lanka’s Sirisena suspends parliament amid political crisis
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Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena suspended the parliament with effect from 12 noon on Saturday, a day after he removed Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister and replaced him with former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa.

“The president has prorogued the parliament,” cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told reporters.

The move comes after Wickremesinghe, who says he remains Prime Minister, urged the speaker to convene the parliament on Sunday to prove he still retained his parliamentary majority.

AFP news agency reports, Parliamentary officials said the president had suspended all meetings of the 225-member house until November 16.

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Sri Lanka was plunged in a constitutional crisis after Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe and gave the job to former President Rajapakse, who was sworn in on Friday night.

Reports said supporters of Rajapakse stormed several state media institutions and intimidated staff after he was sworn in.

“I retain the confidence of the house. I am the prime minister and I have the majority,” Wickremesinghe said on Friday. “According to the constitution, I’m the prime minister. That removal is not legal,” he said.

Sirisena, who was health minister under Rajapaksa from 2010 to 2014, joined forces with Wickremesinghe to defeat the former president in elections in January 2015.

He was elected president on the backing of Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP). Sirisensa’s United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) on Friday said it would quit the ruling coalition.

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Sri Lanka’s Sirisena suspends parliament amid political crisis
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Sri Lanka’s Sirisena suspends parliament amid political crisis
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Maithripala Sirisena sacked PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with Mahinda Rajapakse on Friday night.
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The Policy Times
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