Sri Lankan court restrains Rajapaksa from acting as PM

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Sri Lanka’s newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa (C) attends a ceremony to assume duties at the Prime Minister’s office in Colombo on Oct. 29, 2018. Xinhua

COLOMBO (Xinhua) – A Sri Lankan court has issued an interim order to prevent Mahinda Rajapaksa and his party members from acting as prime minister and the government till the case is heard on Dec. 12.

The Court of Appeal issued the order on Monday after 122 parliamentarians filed a petition challenging Mr Rajapaksa and his government from holding office.

“The Court considered the arguments of both sides and says that irreversible damage could be caused if persons not entitled to do so sit as prime minister and the cabinet of ministers,” lawyers arguing the case said.

The court has also issued notices to the 49 government ministers and Mr Rajapaksa to appear before the court on Dec. 12 for the hearing, local media reports said,

Sri Lanka has been embroiled in a political turmoil since President Maithripala Sirisena, in a shocking turn of events, sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and appointed Mr Rajapaksa, the former president, as the prime minister as well as a new caretaker government in late October.

Since his appointment, Mr Rajapaksa and his government have faced two no confidence motions in the Parliament.

Mr Sirisena has rejected the results of the two votes, saying they were not conducted in a legal manner and has requested Parliament to call for a vote again on Dec. 5.

Mr Rajapaksa and his party have boycotted Parliament sessions since last month, saying that Speaker Karu Jayasuriya was acting in favour of Mr Wickremesinghe and his party.

They also said they would continue to boycott sessions until they are recognised as the government.

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