World News

Rajapakse rally gathers as Sri Lanka showdown toughens

Rajapakse rally gathers as Sri Lanka showdown toughens

Wickremesinghe was sacked mainly over the accusation that he had failed to take strong steps to investigate the alleged plot to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena.

The Government Printing Department released the relevant special gazette yesterday.

Wickremesinghe said in an interview with The Associated Press last week that there is credible evidence that Rajapaksa's party is attempting to buy support in Parliament.

On Friday, 118 members of the 225-seat legislature met the speaker and called for the reconvening of parliament.

Foreign Minister Sarath Amunugama told a news conference Jayasuriya was not being impartial.

"In the name of justice and fair play I have to declare my position to the world that when a majority has pointed out that rights of the MPs have been usurped by preventing the lawful convening of parliament", Jayasuriya said.

He announced the dismissal on a live television session on October 26, 2018, where he also announced the appointment of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, the man he joined forces with Wickremesinghe to defeat.

On Sunday, Sirisena ordered parliament to reconvene in 10 days to resolve the protracted political crisis, drawing sharp criticism from Wickremesinghe's party which decried it as "too late".

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Parliament road from Borella was a sea of heads as the crowds kept streaming into the Parliament Roundabout where the rally under the theme "Ratama Rakina Jana Mahimaya" presided over by the President and the Prime Minister was held.

India and Western countries also worry about his close ties to China, which loaned Sri Lanka billions of dollars for infrastructure projects during his rule, putting the country deep into debt.

Rajapaksa, who was the president at the time, has repeatedly said that the war was against the LTTE and not against the Tamil community.

The Tamil National Alliance, a coalition of parties representing the Tamils, vowed on Sunday that its 15 members would back the no-confidence motion against Rajapaksa.

The UNP has handed over a motion of no trust against Rajapaksa.

The unity government was formed in 2015 when Sirisena was elected President with Wickremesinghe's support, ending a almost decade-long rule by Rajapaksa.

At least eight legislators from the UNP and a member of an opposition party have now crossed over to the Sirisena and Rajapaksa-led United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA), which had the backing of 96 legislators prior to the crisis.

"People praised President Maithripala Sirisena for appointing me as the Prime Minister endorsing the real mandate received at the last Local Government polls", Prime Minister Rajapaksa said.


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