Sirisena removes PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as law and order minister
Wickremesinghe's 11-day tenure as the law and order minister was marred by racial tension in Kandy
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena (right) and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Pics/AFP
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has replaced Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the law and order minister amidst fresh violence between majority Sinhala Buddhists and minority Muslims in the Kandy district despite imposition of nationwide emergency.
Ranjith Madduma Bandara, a senior politician from Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) was sworn in as the new minister in charge of the police. Wickremesinghe's 11-day tenure as the law and order minister was marred by racial tension in the central district of Kandy since Monday.
Muslim owned businesses and religious sites came under attack from majority Sinhala mobs, forcing the government to enforce curfew. Following the violence, Sirisena on Tuesday declared a state of emergency and deployed police in the area.
The leader of the main Tamil party TNA R Sampanthan questioned the inaction of law enforcement authorities in response to the attacks on Muslim establishments. Speaking in parliament, Sampanthan, who is also the leader of the Opposition, said such incidents are clearly unacceptable and is indicative of sense of impunity.
No. of people killed in the riots
Min slams new appointment
Regional Development Minister Sarath Fonseka said he was against the appointment of Ranjith Madduma Bandara as the new Law and Order minister. He said the appointment was made without prior information to Bandara.
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