Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday suspended Parliament a day after he sacked his former ally Ranil Wickremesinghe as the prime minister, Al Jazeera reported. “The president has prorogued the Parliament with effect from 12 noon on Saturday,” said Cabinet spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne.
The move came soon after Wickremesinghe sought an emergency Parliament session. Wickremesinghe, who has vowed to remain prime minister, urged the Speaker to convene Parliament on Sunday to allow him to prove his party’s majority in the legislative body.
On Friday, Sirisena replaced Wickremesinghe with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. This came after Sirisena’s United People’s Freedom Alliance withdrew from the coalition government, throwing the country into a constitutional crisis. Last week, Sirisena accused Wickremesinghe’s United National Party of not taking seriously an alleged plot to assassinate him and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the brother of Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Sirisena was chosen president in 2015 largely because of votes from Wickremesinghe’s party, ending Rajapaksa’s almost decade-long rule. However, both the ruling parties suffered heavy defeats in the local elections in February. Later, Sirisena aides supported a no-confidence motion against Wickremesinghe, who survived the vote after a majority of legislators backed his government.
Rajapaksa and Sirisena’s parties together have only 95 seats, short of majority in the 225-member house. Wickremsinghe’s party has 106 seats on its own, however, it is also seven short of the majority.
DMK asks Modi to convey concern for safety of Tamil fishermen
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief MK Stalin asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to convey India’s concern for the safety of fishermen from Tamil Nadu amid the political developments in Sri Lanka. Stalin said the situation in Sri Lanka impacts the lives of Tamils in Tamil Nadu, particularly the fishermen.
“The changes that have occurred in the Sri Lankan government in a single night encompasses several mysteries and have threatened the Tamils there who are denied their rights,” Stalin said, according to PTI.