Sri Lankan President suspends Parliament

Elias Hubbard
April 13, 2018

"The president has prorogued parliament until May 8", President Maithripala Sirisena's secretary, Austin Fernando, said, declining to say why.

In a surprise move, Sirisena ordered last night that parliament be put off till May 8 when a new session will be called when standing committees will have to be appointed afresh.

The failed No-Confidence Motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on April 4 further sharpened differences within the SLFP while uniting a fractured United National Party (UNP) led by the premier. A parliamentary committee and a presidential commission investigated the bond sales and determined the prime minister was not guilty of any wrongdoing in the case, according to Lakshman Kiriella, the Leader of the House.

Four new Ministers were appointed today temporarily to fill the portfolios left vacant by the resignation of six Sri Lanka Freedom party (SLFP) ministers yesterday.

The SLFP will formally decide next week if it should leave the unity government, the party sources said.

Mr. Sirisena and the PM agreed on a cabinet reshuffle, but meanwhile the dissident SLFP legislators made a decision to relinquish their ministerial positions in government, leading to a complex scenario where factions of a further divided SLFP is both in government and opposition, both working under Mr. Sirisena.

"We were to cross over and sit with the opposition on April 19".

Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, one of the 16 legislators who chose to join the opposition said: "We were to cross over and sit with the opposition on April 19". They resigned their portfolios and chose to sit with the opposition, weakening the SLFP's coalition with Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP).

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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