Sri Lanka parliament Speaker refuses to recognise Rajapaksa as PM

UN Secretary General asks Sri Lanka's President to allow Parliament vote ASAP

President Maithripala Sirisena fired Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister and named Rajapaksa in a surprise move last week that has drawn criticism from political parties and the global community. "The informant has made a statement regarding a Cabinet minister involved in the conspiracy to assassinate me".

Tensions have been building between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe for some time on other fronts too, as the president did not approve of economic reforms introduced by the prime minister.

Wickremesinghe called his sacking illegal and demanded a floor test in parliament to show he retains his majority.

Pradeep Kariyawasam, the head of Rajapaksa's party in Colombo, said that although Wickremesinghe continued to maintain that he was the country's legitimate leader, "the people are with us". Such authority that vested in the President previously was specifically repealed by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Wickremesinghe's United National Party said they have handed over a motion of no-confidence against Rajapaksa.

It has to be mentioned that when Mr Ranil Wickramasinghe was appointed as the Prime Minister in 2015, by the present President of Sri Lanka, he had only 42 MPs backing him whereas the sitting Prime Minister had the support of over 120 MPs.

"We strongly oppose and condemn Tamil National Alliance Member of Parliament being a part of this conspiracy", TNA said.

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Huge amounts are reportedly being offered to defectors.

"Rajapaksa is known only for two things, the brutal quelling of the Tamil insurgency and outright support to China in a manner that goes against the interest of the country and negates its historic relationship with India", remarked Colonel Jaibans Singh (retired), a strategic affairs expert and Indian Army veteran.

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) party, which has seven lawmakers, said its members had also rejected offers to join the Sirisena-Rajapakse camp.

Japan had also put on hold plans to extend a soft loan of US$1.4 billion for a light railway project, he said.

It expressed alarm at ministerial positions being given for changing political loyalties.

Parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has come under pressure from a majority of legislators to reconvene parliament. "Malicious rumours are being spread to discredit the Government and I think this will put a stop to all that", the Government spokesman said adding that, "Despite cries of foul play, the powers vested in the President in proroguing Parliament and appointing a PM is very clear".

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