Ousted Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe gets support from Speaker
In letter to President Sirisena, speaker Jayasuriya says Wickeremesinghe has 'obtained a mandate to secure democracy and good governance'
Sri Lankan Parliament's speaker on Sunday recognised Ranil Wickremesinghe as the country's prime minister, saying he has "obtained a mandate to secure democracy and good governance," in a major relief to the embattled UNP leader who was sacked by President Maithripala Sirisena in a dramatic move on Friday night In a letter to Sirisena, speaker Karu Jayasuriya questioned the president's decision to suspend parliament till November 16, saying it will have "serious and undesirable" consequences on the country. He asked the president to restore Wickremesinghe's privileges as the leader of the government.
Sirisena on Friday night sacked Wickremesinghe and appointed former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new prime minister. Next day, Sirisena suspended parliament till November 16 after Wickremesinghe sought an emergency session to prove his majority.
Jayasuriya said a prorogation of parliament should be one in consultation with the speaker. "In this context continuing the prorogation of parliament until November 16 will have serious and undesirable consequences for our country and I kindly request you to reconsider same," Jayasuriya said. The speaker also questioned Sirisena's decision to withdraw Wickremesinghe's security.
Sri Lanka police said two people were injured Sunday when shots were fired in Colombo. Bodyguards for Petroleum Minister Arjuna Ranatunga fired live rounds at a mob loyal to President Maithripala Sirisena after the group tried to take the cabinet member hostage.
India stands by Lanka
The Ministry of External Affairs on Sunday asserted that India would continue to extend development assistance to the people of Sri Lanka amid the crisis. MEA official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, "We will continue to extend our developmental assistance to the friendly people of Sri Lanka."
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