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Political crisis deepens further in Sri Lanka

Brother of new Prime Minister and former Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa was among three ministers sworn in by President Maithripala Sirisena. Meanwhile, Parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said, an opportunity must be provided for the majority opinion on a stable government when Parliament meets next Wednesday. He said this after a meeting of the party leaders to discuss the Parliament’s agenda.

Government sources have, however, maintained that vote on majority may not be taken necessarily on the first day of the session. The new government under Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is reportedly lacking majority as smaller parties have refused to back it. Ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe has maintained that he has the majority in the house and demanded early session to prove it.   

“The new ministers were sworn in amidst rumours that President may dissolve the house and call early elections. However, it was denied by the government in a late-night press release. A government minister has said the first day of parliament session on 14th will only have the president’s address while a date to prove majority will be decided later. 

This is contrary to speaker’s view who wants the majority to be tested on the first day itself. Meanwhile, USA has urged President to convene parliament immediately to resolve the political crisis. It said further delay compounds uncertainty in Sri Lanka and undermines its international reputation. 

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