Sri Lankan lawmakers come to blows, leave one bleeding

Updated: 16 November, 2018 09:25 IST | Agencies | Colombo

Objects were thrown at the Speaker's chair and at least one MP was seen leaving the chamber bleeding, an official said. The commotion continued for about half an hour before Jayasuriya adjourned the House

Rival members of the Sri Lankan parliament gesture at each other next to the Speaker. Pic/AFP
Rival members of the Sri Lankan parliament gesture at each other next to the Speaker. Pic/AFP

Sri Lankan lawmakers on Thursday exchanged blows and threw objects at each other, leaving at least one of them bleeding, as MPs loyal to President Maithripala Sirisena surrounded the Speaker in his chair after Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, who lost a floor test, demanded fresh elections to resolve the raging political turmoil.

Trouble erupted when Speaker Karu Jayasuriya agreed to a request from ousted premier Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) that a vote be taken on a statement made by Rajapaksa demanding fresh polls. Jayasuriya had allowed Rajapaksa to make a statement as a member of parliament after stating that he does not recognise the claim of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) leader who lost a no-confidence motion on Wednesday.

"I am the Speaker and I decide," Jayasuriya told the angry lawmakers as UNP MPs formed a ring around the Speaker's chair to shield Jayasuriya. Objects were thrown at the Speaker's chair and at least one MP was seen leaving the chamber bleeding, an official said. The commotion continued for about half an hour before Jayasuriya adjourned the House.

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First Published: 16 November, 2018 08:55 IST

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