Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Legal challenge as Sri Lankan political turmoil deepens

Sri Lanka LGBT rights activists protested the President Sri Lanka LGBT rights activists protested the President
Ellis Copeland | 10 November, 2018, 19:04

President Sirisena has failed to persuade the parliament to support his ouster of his one-time ally Wickramasinghe.

Samaraweera said his party had supported Sirisena to come to power in January 2015, hoping he would be a benevolent leader like Nelson Mandela of South Africa, but that he had shown himself to be a "tyrant".

Ranil Wickremasinghe who was sacked as PM on Oct 26 but refused to step down is a also contender for Presidents post in the next polls and therefore Sirisena saw him as a friend turning rival. It added that a new legislature will meet on January 17, according to Al Jazeera.

A government minister speaking on condition of anonymity, said the official notification dissolving parliament took effect from midnight Friday.

The Agence France-Presse cited an unnamed minister as saying that "the election is likely to be held in early January" rather than the scheduled date in 2020.

The move comes after an intense power struggle in the past two weeks which followed Sirisena's sudden sacking of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the appointment of former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, a pro-China strongman, in his place.

President Maithripala Sirisena signed a decree dismissing the island's 225-member assembly and scheduled parliamentary elections for January 5, almost two years ahead of schedule.

He said: "It is unsafe if someone goes for an election after obtaining power through unconstitutional means".

As protests rocked the streets of the capital Colombo, however, the United National Party voiced its indignation on social media, saying it "is illegal and goes against the constitution".

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This time, the Afghan government sent only members of the government-appointed High Peace Council to attend the event. The conference marks Moscow's attempt to get the Afghan authorities and the Taliban together at a table.


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The New York Times also noted that Acosta's monologues have led "some of his rival White House reporters" to roll their eyes. After Acosta finally gives the mic up, Trump chose to attack him personally.


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Violence erupted at the end of October when crowds loyal to the President attempted to prevent the recently deposed petroleum minister Arjuna Ranatunga from entering a government building in Colombo.

Sirisena had said on Monday that he had the support of 113 legislators when he sacked Wickremesinghe.

Given those views, it was not immediately clear how Sirisena is on legal safe ground by dissolving parliament, though his legal experts have said there are provisions for him to do so.

Later Sirisena agreed to reconvene parliament on November 14, but that will now not happen.

People of the country should unite and fight together to save democracy from the gravest threat it is facing since independence.

Resisting Mr. Sirisena's move, Mr. Wickremesinghe maintained that he was the legitimate Prime Minister and challenged Mr. Rajapaksa to a vote in Parliament to test their claims to majority.

Several legislators have said they were offered millions of dollars to switch allegiance and at least eight have already jumped to the president's side.

Sirisena was critical of investigations into military personnel accused of human rights violations during Sri Lanka's long civil war against a Tamil separatist group, which ended in 2009.

The power struggle on the island of 21 million people has paralysed much of the administration, according to legislators on both sides of the dispute.

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