Sri Lanka grinds to po­lit­i­cal halt amid chaos

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

Sri Lanka ap­peared to have ground to a po­lit­i­cal halt on Thurs­day, with the speaker of par­lia­ment say­ing there was no func­tion­ing prime min­is­ter or cab­i­net af­ter a no-con­fi­dence vote the pre­vi­ous day.

His com­ments came af­ter weeks of po­lit­i­cal tur­moil in the is­land, off the south­east coast of In­dia, cul­mi­nat­ing in noisy chaos on the floor of par­lia­ment on Thurs­day.

Par­lia­ment passed the no­con­fi­dence mo­tion against re­cently ap­pointed Prime Min­is­ter Mahinda Ra­japaksa and his govern­ment with the back­ing of 122 of the 225 law­mak­ers in a voice vote, fol­lowed by a signed doc­u­ment.

But Pres­i­dent Maithri­pala Sirisena said he could not ac­cept the no-con­fi­dence vote as it ap­peared to have ig­nored the con­sti­tu­tion, par­lia­men­tary pro­ce­dure and tra­di­tion.

“We ex­pect the speaker to be an in­de­pen­dent speaker and not a close friend of your party or the West,” Ra­japaksa told par­lia­ment.

He also al­leged the pre­vi­ous govern­ment led by ousted prime min­is­ter Ranil Wick­remesinghe was cor­rupt.

“Since the no-con­fi­dence vote was passed yes­ter­day, ac­cord­ing to the con­sti­tu­tion, the cab­i­net of min­is­ters has been dis­solved and no new prime min­is­ter or min­is­ters ap­pointed, to­day no­body will be ac­cepted as prime min­is­ter or any other min­is­ters,” Jaya­suriya told par­lia­ment.

In a let­ter to Sirisena, the speaker jus­ti­fied the vote of no­con­fi­dence, say­ing he had been forced to hold a voice vote af­ter his pleas for a peace­ful vote were ig­nored.

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