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Sri Lanka Political Crisis: One Dead, Rajapakse Takes PM Seat, Ranatunga Arrested And More

Written By Aishwaria Sonavane | Mumbai | Published:

Hack:

  • Mahinda Rajapakse has taken the seat as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. 
  • One dead in an open fire by Petroleum Minister and star cricketer Arjuna Ranatunga's bodyguard

Sri Lanka is enduring an authoritative vacuum within a political upheaval and a tug-off war of the Prime Minister's chair. A total of 126 MPs have signed a petition on October 29, calling for an early session of Parliament to decide upon the majority-holder. 

Amid the existing Parliamentary skepticism, Mahinda Rajapakse has taken the seat as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. 

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya asked President Maithripala Sirisena to retract his earlier decision to suspend the Parliament until November 16 and let the lawmakers resolve the power cataclysm between the sacked ex-PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the President. 

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He cautioned for the situation to be restored through the Parliament, but if it is taken out on the streets, there would be “bloodbath.” 

Sri Lanka’s Petroleum Minister and star cricketer Arjuna Ranatunga was arrested on October 29 for the violent incident in the island country that led to one casualty. This incident occurred when bodyguards of Ranatunga, a supporter of axed-PM Wickremesinghe opened fire on the supporters of Rajapaksa. One person succumbed to his injuries while leaving the other two hospitalized. 


A TIMELINE OF EVENTS IN SRI LANKA

2015

National Unity Government (NUG) was formed; Sirisena was elected President with Wickremesinghe's support

2018

  • February: The Unity Government, a coalition of two leaders Wickremesinghe and Sirisena was thrown in crisis after Rajapaksa's new party pulled off a victory in local elections
  • April: Wickremesinghe successfully defeated a no-trust motion in parliament engineered by Sirisena with backing from Rajapaksa
  • October 26: Fallout between President Sirisena and axed PM Wickremesinghe over the past year due to differences on policy-front led to a replacement of the PM position.
  • October 28: Speaker Jayasuriya reinstated Wickremesinghe’s rights to undertake his duties as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
  • October 29: Mahinda Rajapakse has taken the seat as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. 

A security personnel was arrested at the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) premises on Sunday in Dematagoda following a tense situation.

The incident occurred when the cricketer-turned-politician visited the CPC office, with numerous petroleum corporation workers remonstrating his presence there. Rajapaksa’s supporters entered the building and chanted slogans.

When they were not permitted to move out, Ranatunga's security personnel opened fire which injured three persons, police said. 

Ranatunga is a loyalist to Wickremesinghe who was sacked by Sirisena on an alleged political spite and replaced him with Rajapaksa. Wickremesinghe called this move by the President “illegal and unconstitutional.”

READ| Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker Recognises Ranil Wickremesinghe As The Prime Minister

The president's office also announced that with Wickremesinghe's sacking, the Cabinet stands dissolved.

Rajapaksa assumed the duties in the prime minister's secretariat which was not used by the ousted prime minister Wickremesinghe, officials from his Sri Lanka People's Party (SLPP) said
 

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