Sri Lanka parliament plunges into chaos

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Supporters celebrate outside the Supreme Court in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Nov. 13, 2018 after the island’s Supreme Court suspended the dissolution of Parliament by President Maithripala Sirisena. Xinhua

COLOMBO (Xinhua) – Sri Lanka’s parliament was thrown into chaos on Wednesday after a no confidence motion against new Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse was presented to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, which prompted the parliament to be adjourned until today.

The no confidence motion on the new prime minister and the newly elected government was presented by Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) legislator Anura Kumara Dissanayaka and seconded by JVP legislator Vijitha Herath.

However, when the motion was taken up for a vote, legislators from Mr Rajapakse’s party broke out in protest, prompting the prime minister to leave the floor of the House.

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Sri Lanka has been embroiled in a political turmoil since Oct. 26, when President Maithripala Sirisena surprisingly sacked his Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed former president Rajapakse to the post.

Mr Sirisena who was supposed to address the parliament yesterday remained absent.

On Tuesday, Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court suspended the dissolution of Parliament by Mr Sirisena, granting interim relief.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Nalin Perera, heard petitions filed by many political parties on Monday and Tuesday and issued an order on the dissolution of Parliament until early December.

The case was further fixed for argument on Dec. 4, 5 and 6.

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Mr Sirisena, last Friday, dissolved Parliament and declared Jan. 5 as the date for a snap parliamentary election in order to resolve weeks of political turmoil which erupted after the president sacked his Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced with former President Mahinda Rajapakse.

The president then immediately formed a caretaker government, a move which Mr Wickremesinghe’s party said was illegal.

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