Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Lanka MP says caller offered $2.8m to back PM

Ranil Wickremesinghe has refused to accept his dismissal Image Ranil Wickremesinghe has refused to accept his dismissal
Charlie Simmons | 05 November, 2018, 13:58

Sri Lanka's president has summoned Parliament to meet next week as pressure grows for him to resolve the turmoil set off when he sacked the Cabinet last week, his chosen prime minister said Thursday.

Mr Wickremesinghe, who has challenged his dismissal and vowed to remain prime minister until Parliament voted him out, said there were worldwide concerns about a government led by Mr Rajapaksa.

Wickremesinghe's government was also sharply criticised previous year after handing over operations of a port Rajapaksa had developed with Chinese loans to a Chinese company.

After winning the presidency as a neutral candidate in 2015, Sirisena accepted an offer from Rajapaksa to take over his Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

"If Ranil (Wickremesinghe) gets a vote of confidence, the president said that within one hour, he'll resign, which means he will dissolve the government", Rambukwell said.

Tensions grew between the two parties, with lawmakers sharply disagreeing on everything from economic reforms to ways of upholding pledges to the United Nations to investigate alleged war crimes.

"The Chinese were giving the loans and had been given the first option".

Sri Lanka main Tamil party to support no-confidence motion against new PM Mahinda Rajapaksa Sat, Nov 3, 2018, 07:18 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

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Since Monday, Sirisena has handed out 14 cabinet posts, including five to lawmakers who defected from Wickremesinghe's coalition.

The billions China loaned Sri Lanka to develop the port and airport - a sign of Rajapaksa's pro-China leanings has India anxious.

Besides domestic politics, strategic experts view the political developments in Sri Lanka as the playing out of geostrategic rivalry between India and China.

Asked what his next step would be if Parliament is not convened before 16 November, Wickremesinghe said that they had a plan in mind and would implement it.

Critics say the suspension of Parliament was meant to give Rajapaksa time to gather enough support to survive a no-confidence vote when lawmakers reconvene November 14.

The announcement was made by Parliament spokesman Karu Jayasuriya when he addressed a special meeting of party leaders.

Sirisena, after replacing Wickremesinghe with Rajapaksa, had suspended Parliament after the sacked premier sought an emergency session to prove his majority.

Wickremesinghe says his dismissal is unconstitutional.

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