By Bharatha Mallawarachi | AP October 28 at. The Sri Lankan president said Sunday that the main reason for his…
By Bharatha Mallawarachi | AP
October 28 at. The Sri Lankan president said Sunday that the main reason for his decision to sack his prime minister was that a prime minister claimed he would be murdered to kill him.
In a television address to the country, President Maithripala Sirisena said that a person questioned by investigators had revealed the name of a minister in an alleged plot to kill him and a former defense secretary.
He said the only choice for him under the circumstances was to dismiss Ranil Wickremesinghe and invite his former nemesis and ex-strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa to take over as prime minister and form a new government.
“This information (received by investigators) contains a number of details hitherto hidden to the people,” said Sirisena. “The informant has made a statement about a minister involved in the conspiracy to kill me.”
He did not reveal the minister’s name.
Although Sirisenas supporters had talked about an alleged plot to kill him for weeks, Sunday was the first time Sirisena had made a public statement about it.
In the meanwhile one person and two others were injured on Sunday in a shot at the Petroleum Ministry, in the first violent accident since the political turmoil began on Friday with the departure of Wickremesinghe.
Pushpa Soyza, a spokesman at Colombo National Hospital, said three people were hospitalized after the shot, and one of them had died.
Arjuna Ranatunga, a minister of petroleum under Wickremesinghe, said one of his security guards opened fire when Rajapaksa supporters bully him and protested against him in the ministry.
Wickremesinghe has called Sirisen a s moving to secure him constitutionally and said he can prove his majority support in parliament.
On Saturday, Sirisena sent Parliament a clear move to give Rajapaksa time to try to meet enough support to survive potential misunderstandings.  Talman in Parliament called on Sirisena to protect Wickremesinge’s rights.
President Karu Jayasuriya said on Sunday that a letter to Sirisena that the continued suspension of parliament would have “serious and unwanted consequences”.
Opposition legislators who support the new prime minister asked Wickremesinghe to leave his official residence or face a compulsive expulsion.
Hundreds of Wickremesing’s followers continued to gather outside their official home on Sunday for the second consecutive day, waving party laws and condemning Sirisena and Rajapaksa. Buddhist monks performed religious rituals to invoke blessings at Wickremesinghe.
Jayasuriya said in the letter that he received “a request to protect Wickremesinge’s rights and privileges” until another person came from parliament as having trusted parliament’s confidence. “He said that the request came from two senior lawyers from the prime minister’s party.
” This request is particularly important in the context of reports that various people have reported threats through the media, “said Jayasuriya, adding that” the forced takeovers “should have “serious international consequences.”
The tensions have been built between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe for a time because the president did not approve of any of the economic reforms introduced by the prime minister. Sirisena was also critical of investigations of military personnel accused of violations of human rights under Sri Lanka’s long civil war, which ended in 2009.
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