Sri Lanka par­lia­ment ad­journed after just 5 min­utes

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

Sri Lanka’s par­lia­ment was ad­journed after just five min­utes on Mon­day after open­ing for the first time since MPs brawled and threw ob­jects at each other last week.

The is­land has been po­lit­i­cally par­a­lyzed since Oc­to­ber 26 when Pres­i­dent Maithri­pala Sirisena sacked prime min­is­ter Ranil Wick­remesinghe and re­placed him with Mahinda Ra­japakse.

Ra­japakse has lost two no­con­fi­dence votes and last week his sup­port­ers threw pro­jec­tiles and chilli pow­der at their ri­vals and the speaker, deep­en­ing in­ter­na­tional con­cern.

Mon­day’s ses­sion was ad­journed after five min­utes as the 225-mem­ber as­sem­bly failed to agree on a com­mit­tee to draw up the leg­is­la­ture’s agenda. They were to meet again on Fri­day.

Sirisena has also re­fused to ac­cept the par­lia­ment’s no-con­fi­dence votes.

The ri­val fac­tions held talks with Sirisena on Sun­day night in a bid to ne­go­ti­ate an end to the cri­sis, but it ended in fail­ure, ac­cord­ing to the two sides.

After sack­ing Wick­remesinghe last month, Sirisena ini­tially sus­pended par­lia­ment and then dis­solved it on Novem­ber 9, call­ing snap elections for Jan­uary 5.

How­ever these moves were sus­pended by the Supreme Court last Tues­day pend­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The leg­is­la­ture re­con­vened the fol­low­ing day but de­gen­er­ated into a punchup.

For 19 days, Sri Lanka had two claimants to the prime min­is­ter’s post – but on Thurs­day par­lia­ment speaker Karu Jaya­suriya held that he would rec­og­nize nei­ther.

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