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techkenyot.com January 18, 2019


Tamil prisoners may be released to tilt scales in favour of Rajapaksa

08 November 2018, 10:05 | Glen Norman

Tamil prisoners may be released to tilt scales in favour of Rajapaksa

Sri Lanka's ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe gestures during an interview with Reuters at the Prime Minister's official residence in Colombo Sri Lanka

The rally, attended by thousands of supporters, was the first public show of Mr Sirisena and Mr Rajapaksa together after the island nation plunged into a constitutional crisis.

President Maithripala Sirisena fired the sitting Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on October 26 and appointed Rajapaksa - a controversial former president - in his place, throwing the country in a constitutional crisis with two rival prime ministers.

Whereas ousted PM Wickremesinghe argued that what Sirisena did was unconstitutional because as per Article 46 (2) of the 19th Amendment of the constitution passed in 2015, the president can not sack a Prime Minister who enjoys majority support in parliament.

Wickremesinghe says his dismissal is unconstitutional.

Rajapaksa, who was the president at the time, has repeatedly said that the war was against the LTTE and not against the Tamil community.

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People carrying placards with the pictures of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa shouted slogans denouncing the policies of the United National Party.

Thousands of supporters of Rajapaksa headed for the capital on Monday to rally in support of his nomination as the prime minister.

The gazette in this regard was issued on Sunday amid mounting pressure to let legislators hold a vote.The Parliament has been convened as per the powers vested with the President according to paragraph 3/1 of article 70 of the constitution of the democratic socialist republic of Sri Lanka, government's official news portal said.

He said that farmers, government servants, fishermen, and the working mass who were gripped by the economic principles of Ranil Wickremesinghe should be freed.

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In a statement, the Speaker said that a majority of lawmakers in the 225 member Parliament were of the opinion that the recent changes made in the Parliament were undemocratic and inconsistent with Parliamentary traditions. It means that the speaker still recognizes a Wickremesinghe-led Parliament.

UNP supporters also condemned Sirisena's decision to recall parliament two days prior to the initial suspension order against Wickremesinghe, describing the move to be "eyewash to appease the ever-increasing global and local pressure".

The move to hold back project financing, along with the EU's warning it could withdraw duty-free concessions for Sri Lankan exports if it didn't stick to commitments on national reconciliation, will further strain the economy, Wickremesinghe told Reuters in an interview.

During these 10 years, Rajapaksa and his government were accused of authoritarianism, corruption and human rights abuses, especially against the country's Tamil minority.

The unity government was formed in 2015 when Sirisena was elected President with Wickremesinghe's support, ending a almost decade-long rule by Rajapaksa.

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Rajapaksa camp had already enticed a TNA legislator to join ranks by giving him a deputy ministerial position.



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