Sri Lanka's political crisis descended into farce Thursday with MPs throwing punches and projectiles in parliament, a day after voting…
Sri Lanka’s political crisis descended into farce Thursday with MPs throwing punches and projectiles in parliament, a day after voting the disputed prime minister out of office and leaving the country without a government.
President Maithripala Sirisena, who triggered the unprecedented constitutional standoff by sacking prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last month, talks Thursday with parties representing a majority in the legislature in a bid to defuse tensions.
An MP who was at the closed-door talks said there was no breakthrough to end the deadlock, but the parties agreed not to escalate tensions.
Parliamentary proceedings in Sri Lanka turned ugly as MPs got physical with each other in the chamber
‘The only way o “The legislator said referring to Wednesday’s vote against Mahinda Rajapakse’s disputed government.
There was no immediate comment from Sirisena about the talks involving Wickremesinghe’s United National Party and
The discussions followed a mass rally in Colombo where activists denounced Sirisena’s October 26 sacking of Wickremesinghe that plunged the Indian Ocean nation into turmoil three weeks ago. ] Fisticuffs broke out in the national parliament earlier in the day, as a majority of MPs moved another resolution against Rajapakse, this time to reject his call for snap elections.
‘It was difficult to make out immediately who was hitting who, but Several were hurt, but not seriously, ‘an official in parliament told AFP. ‘The speaker adjourned the House until tomorrow.’
The official said an MP from top-ranked premier Rajapakse’s party injured himself trying to rip out the speaker’s microphone and had to be taken to hospital with a bleeding hand.
Two weeks after dismissing Wickremesinghe and appointing Rajapakse in his place, Sirisena dissolved the strategically important Indian Ocean nation’s parliament and called snap elections for January.
However, these moves were suspended by the Supreme Court on Tuesday pending an investigation. Day-to-day administration in Sri Lanka remains paralyzed as the crisis draws on.
Parliament reconvened on Wednesday and lawmakers approved a motion of no-confidence in what they called Rajapakse’s ‘purported’ cabinet, also passing motions declaring Sirisena’s moves illegal
Thursday’s routine parliament session, the first since Rajapakse and his disputed administration were deposed, began with the speaker announcing that the country now had no government.
‘As of now, there is no prime minister, no cabinet ministers and no government in Sri Lanka, “said Karu Jayasuriya, wearing his black and gold robe. “I do not recognize anyone as prime minister.”
The vote ousting Rajapakse and the Supreme Court rulings were a major boost to Wickremesinghe.
The four-time prime minister, popular with Western countries for his economic reforms, had
– Let’s have elections –
Thursday’s routine parliament session, the first since Rajapakse and his disputed administration were deposed, began with the speaker announcing that the country now had no government
Sirisena, who is in power with constitutional power s induct a new prime minister and a cabinet of ministers, was yet to take note of Wednesday’s no-confidence motion.
On Thursday he accused Jayasuriya of violating legislative traditions, saying the signatures of 122 legislators who opposed Rajapakse had not been Certified as genuine and also pointed to a typographical error.
‘We do not need to submit signatures to the President. All he has to do is take notice of the resolution passed by parliament. He has not been a proofreader, “leftist lawmaker Bimal Ratnayake said.
The president also rejected the position that he did not have the power to sack Wickremesinghe and replace him with Rajapakse.
The crisis has alarmed the international community.
Germany’s ambassador Joern Rohde tweeted on Thursday that it was a bad day for democracy in Sri Lanka … “There is political and political and democracy. economic instability. Our international image has been badly damaged, ‘Jayasuriya told Sirisena in a letter released to the media before his meeting with Sirisena later in the day.