Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

The Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to India's security environment, her strategic outlook on global affairs and as well as the effect of international relations in the Indian Subcontinent. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
Supratik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5566
Joined: 09 Nov 2005 10:21
Location: USA

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Supratik » 28 Oct 2018 13:27

SuSwamy is not the leader of India. Both US and India have called SL to honor the constitution. In any case Rajapaksa does not have majority in parliament. So this is a coup.

chetak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17650
Joined: 16 May 2008 12:00

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby chetak » 28 Oct 2018 16:38

Supratik wrote:SuSwamy is not the leader of India. Both US and India have called SL to honor the constitution. In any case Rajapaksa does not have majority in parliament. So this is a coup.


Rajapaksa was in India as Swamy's guest. It would be foolish to imagine that matters pertaining to what has happened in SL were not discussed "unofficially" and also the blessings of the powers that be in dilli would have been obtained.

For Rajapaksa to be in dilli, he needed the plausible deniability of an official visit or even the fact that he may have been "summoned" by the GoI, so maybe he came as Swamy's guest.

The "report" of the "R&AW plot" to kill someone high up in the SL govt is proof enough of the machinations that may have gone on prior to this new situation coming about.

Let us wait and watch the evolving situation and see the true intent behind this move.

chetak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17650
Joined: 16 May 2008 12:00

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby chetak » 28 Oct 2018 16:50

Sri Lankan Speaker recognises Ranil Wickremesinghe as PM, urges President Maithripala Sirisena to reconsider his sacking



Sri Lankan Speaker recognises Ranil Wickremesinghe as PM, urges President Maithripala Sirisena to reconsider his sacking

Oct 28, 2018

Colombo: Sri Lankan Parliament's Speaker Karu Jayasuriya Sunday recognised Ranil Wickremesinghe as the country's prime minister in a major relief to the embattled UNP leader, who was sacked as the premier by President Maithripala Sirisena.


In a letter to Sirisena, Jayasuriya questioned Sirisena's decision to suspend the House until 16 November, saying it will have "serious and undesirable" consequences on the country. He asked the president to restore Wickremesinghe's privileges as the leader of the government who has "obtained a mandate to secure democracy and good governance”.

The speaker said a prorogation of Parliament should be one in consultation with the speaker. "In this context continuing the prorogation of parliament until November 16 will have serious and undesirable consequences for our country and I kindly request you to reconsider the same.

"I consider it is my duty to draw your attention to the convention that a prorogation should be one in consultation with the speaker," Jayasuriya said.

The speaker also questioned Sirisena's decision to withdraw the security of Wickremesinghe. Jayasuriya reminded Sirisena of certain forcible takeovers of state institutions since former strongman Rajapaksa was named Wickremesinghe's successor by the president on Friday night.

chetak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17650
Joined: 16 May 2008 12:00

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby chetak » 28 Oct 2018 17:10

It looks like president Sirisena has a large part to play in the ongoing political turmoil. He may well have precipitated the entire fiasco.



Turmoil in Sri Lanka: Mahinda Rajapaksa's return poses challenges for India but it may not be a zero sum game



Turmoil in Sri Lanka: Mahinda Rajapaksa's return poses challenges for India but it may not be a zero sum game

India Sreemoy Talukdar, Oct 27, 2018

Nearly 24 hours have passed but India still maintains official silence over the dramatic developments in Sri Lanka, where a prime minister has been “sacked” by the president and a new one installed in his place. The US has declared that it is monitoring the situation and asked all parties to remain calm and follow the Constitution.

The US is following events in #SriLanka. We call on all parties to act in accordance with SL’s constitution, refrain from violence, and follow due process. We expect gov of SL to uphold its Geneva commitments to human rights, reform, accountability, justice, and reconciliation.

— State_SCA (@State_SCA) October 26, 2018


Mark Field, UK Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific, has expressed his “concern” and asked everyone to respect the Constitution and “due political process”.

Following today’s developments in #SriLanka closely and with concern. We call for all parties and competent authorities to ensure that the constitution is respected and due political process followed.

— Mark Field MP (@MarkFieldUK) October 26, 2018


Yet India, which considers Sri Lanka an inalienable part of its sphere of influence and is keen to guard its turf from encroachments by other powers such as China, has been reluctant to react — except for one reaction from Subramanian Swamy. The BJP MP told ANI that he is “happy” at the turn of events because Mahinda Rajapaksa, the former president and the designated prime minister who is seeking to replace incumbent Ranil Wickremesinghe, “is a staunch nationalist. He’ll not sacrifice this sovereignty even one bit for any country/terrorist group. India would benefit from good relations with him.”

But Swamy is not known for his reticence and in any case, it is his personal opinion. From the looks of it, India seems to be wary about playing its cards and wants to wait out the volatility till a clearer picture emerges. The Washington Post quoted an official from India’s external affairs ministry as saying New Delhi “is aware of the developments and watching the situation closely.” India’s caution is understandable. The situation is complex, and New Delhi has been sucked into the vortex of Sri Lanka’s domestic politics without wishing to play any role in it.

There is a distinct fear in New Delhi that it has inadvertently become the proverbial straw that finally broke the camel’s back, and India’s cautious response is likely a desperate effort to stay out of the controversy.

The dramatic developments unfolded on Friday when President Maithripala Sirisena finally called time on the unstable coalition by quitting the so-called ‘Unity government’ and ousting Prime Minister Wickremesinghe. The coalition was in ICU and its fall was inevitable. Yet the descent into volatility was caused by a few recent events where India plays an unintentional part.


The first event involves Wickremesinghe’s recent meeting with Narendra Modi in New Delhi, after which the Sri Lankan prime minister's office released a curious statement, where Modi was quoted as “unhappy” and disappointed with the delays that various Indian projects are facing in Sri Lanka.

The release from Wickremesinghe’s office, written in Sinhala, stated: “Mr. Narendra Modi has expressed his concern over the implementation of Indo-Sri Lanka joint development projects in accordance with the MoU signed between India and Sri Lanka in 2017…Mr. Modi said he was not satisfied with the response he had received from the Sri Lankan government to his overtures.”

The statement released by India was nondescript. “Both the Prime Ministers discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and ways to further deepen the historically close and friendly relations between the two countries. The leaders exchanged views on regional and global issues. They also reviewed the progress in implementation of various decisions taken during high level exchanges in the recent past, including the visit of Sri Lankan Prime Minister in April and November 2017, Prime Minister’s visit to Sri Lanka in May 2017 during the International Vesak Day Celebrations and the visit of Sri Lankan President for the International Solar Alliance Founding Conference in March 2018.”

According to a report in The Hindu, officials from India’s Ministry of External Affairs present at the meeting “said the delayed projects had indeed been the ‘main subject of discussion’, but characterised Modi’s reaction as ‘taking stock’ of progress on the projects rather than ‘disappointment'."

The public declaration seemed to be a thinly veiled attempt by Wickremesinghe to shift the blame for delayed projects on to Sirisena, with whom he ran into major differences over the East Container Terminal in Colombo port. Wickremesinghe was keen on the port to be run by an Indian company but “under Sirisena’s direction, the terms of deal with the bidders were changed to keep the Indians investors away.”


Amid these differences, the controversy over an alleged assassination plot complicated the situation further. Sirisena was quoted as saying in a recent report by The Hindu that Indian intelligence services had hatched a plot to kill the Sri Lankan president, keeping Modi in the dark.

Both Sirisena and the Indian government later denied the allegation and dismissed the report, and Sri Lankan police later held a news conference to declare that no evidence of such a conspiracy was found but Sirisena, while denying India’s role in the plot, nevertheless reportedly felt that Wickremesinghe government wasn’t giving the matter its due importance.

Recent media reports also indicated that President Sirisena was under “tremendous pressure” from a section of his Freedom Party members to pull out of the coalition with Wickremesinghe’s United National Party and appoint a “caretaker government” with Rajapaksa as the prime minister.

We see that while India was a factor in the deterioration of relationship between the coalition partners, the larger logic behind Sirisena’s action was a recognition of the altered ground situation. The economy, led by the Wickremesinghe government, is under-performing. Sri Lanka’s $87 billion economy had reported a sluggish growth of 3.3 percent last year from 4.4 percent in 2016. The 16-year low was blamed on “tight monetary and fiscal conditions, droughts and floods.” Meanwhile, former president Rajapaksa, whom Sirisena had defeated in the presidential elections in 2015, came back in reckoning with a thumping victory in recent local elections.

Sirisena’s actions in sacking his prime minister and giving the job to the former president, therefore, looks like an attempt to stave off popular discontent and mend the relationship with Rajapaksa, who is widely expected to win the presidential elections in 2020.

The problem, however, is that Sirisena’s move unilateral move has come under challenge from the incumbent prime minister. Wickremesinghe insists that he is still the prime minister and that Sirisena’s move is unconstitutional. He continues to occupy Temple Trees, the official residence of the prime minister, and in a letter to the president has demanded that Parliament be reconvened so that he can immediately prove his majority. Wickremesinghe has also vowed legal action and claimed that he can only be removed by the Parliament, which was due to meet on 5 November.

Wickremesinghe has reasons to be confident. The Rajapaksa-Sirisena combine has little less than 100 seats while Wickremesinghe’s UNP has 106, just seven short of majority. “As far as the prime ministership is concerned, the person who has the majority support in parliament has to be the prime minister, and I have that majority of support… When a motion of no confidence was moved (in the past), we defeated it, showing that the house has the confidence in me,” Wickremesinghe said in a news conference.

Reacting to his move, Sirisena has suspended the Parliament till 16 November in an apparent attempt to deny Wickremesinghe the chance to prove his majority on the floor of the House and also to help Rajapaksa buy some time. Sirisena would have noted that Tamil, Muslim parties and many lawmakers are still firmly behind Wickremesinghe.

This deepens the political crisis. However, under the Sri Lankan Constitution, the president has the power to remove the prime minister and it seems likely that the battle will move to the judicial arena. Sri Lankan courts have kowtowed before power earlier and it is possible that they may not be able to prevent Rajapaksa from returning to power.

Namal Rajapaksa, a lawmaker and the son of the former president, was quoted as saying in The New York Times that “we have more than 130 seats in Parliament, definitely.”

India therefore must proceed with the assumption that Wickremesinghe, with whom New Delhi had a good equation, may be ousted. This complicates the turf for New Delhi, which has been grappling with the swift changes in the Indo-Pacific strategic dynamic due to China’s aggressive courting of Indian neighbours. Rajapaksa, the strongman who served for 10 years as Sri Lanka’s president till 2015, had single-handedly pivoted the nation towards China.

He had engineered an economic run fueled by opaque Chinese investments and plunged Sri Lanka into a debt trap that led to, among other things, the island nation handing over the strategically located Hambantota port and nearly 15,000 acres of land around it to China on a 99-year lease. Though the lease was authored after Rajapaksa was voted out of office, the Sirisena government had little choice. The port gave China a toehold in a critical freight and military pathway.

Sirisena’s move to bring Rajapaksa back into the power game may have been rooted in political reasoning, but it may add more spice to the geopolitical power game between India and China.

Shailesh Kumar, Asia director at political risk firm Eurasia Group, was quoted as saying in a Business Standard report that Rajapaksa has many friends in China and handled most of the Chinese inflow and “this transition will ensure that China can once again prevail over Sri Lanka’s economy as they have a friend in the prime minister’s office — in contrast to Wickremesinghe.”

An investigative report in The New York Times relates how China pumped money into the Hambantota port despite adverse feasibility studies and how, little by little, it tightened the noose around Sri Lanka in a textbook case of debt-trap diplomacy. As Rajapaksa took on a mountain of Chinese debt under unspecified terms to build large infrastructure projects, the country’s economy sank under the debt burden. At recent estimates, roughly 80 percent of the country’s $14.8 billion goes towards Chinese debt servicing, the terms of which are turning progressively onerous and may end up undermining the island nation’s sovereignty.

While this happened at a rapid pace under Rajapaksa’s watch, Chinese firms pumped in large amounts to money towards financing the former president’s electoral campaign.

According to the newspaper, “During the 2015 Sri Lankan elections, large payments from the Chinese port construction fund flowed directly to campaign aides and activities for Mr. Rajapaksa, who had agreed to Chinese terms at every turn and was seen as an important ally in China’s efforts to tilt influence away from India in South Asia. The payments were confirmed by documents and cash checks detailed in a government investigation seen by The New York Times.”

China had also defended the Rajapaksa government from UN wrath due to alleged human rights violations during the civil war and had described the UNHRC resolution as a move to “impose pressure”.

India, therefore, would have its work cut out. China is reportedly also expanding its footprint into Sri Lanka’s Northers province and central highlands, where India enjoys huge influence due to the ethno-linguistic and cultural ties with the Tamil majority. China’s state-run China Railway Beijing Engineering Group has secured a $300 million contract to contrast 40,000 houses in Jaffna district in the Northern Province, while Beijing is also planning to invest Sri Lanka’s plantation industry, which, according to a report in The Diplomat, is “just a fraction of investment planned in this sector.”

The theatrics in Sri Lanka present a set of challenges for India, but it may be unwise to see the developments through a monochromatic prism. Rajapaksa, in recent times, has been trying to mend fences with Delhi. He had accused India of engineering his ouster in 2015 but later met Modi in 2017 when the Indian prime minister had been on a visit.

The former Sri Lankan president came to India in September this year to attend an event and met Modi again, signaling a thaw in relations.

While India navigates the choppy waters in its backyard, it may do well to remember that its security interests cannot be the sole motivating factor for its South Asian neighbours who have their political agency and will act in accordance with own interests. It is not a zero sum game

Dumal
BRFite
Posts: 194
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Dumal » 29 Oct 2018 18:39

https://news.rediff.com/commentary/2018/oct/29/ranatunga-arrested-after-his-guards-shoot-rajapaksa-supporter-dead/0474ab14106f2555f56ac41fede9faaa

Things getting out of control! Also even though Rajapaksa has not proved his majority yet, he seems intent to wield power.

abhijitm
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3118
Joined: 08 Jun 2006 15:02
Contact:

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby abhijitm » 02 Nov 2018 10:28

Is it possible Rajapakse was in Delhi to strike a deal, or pretend to strike one? He must have asked for larger sum than what offered by chinese.

abhijitm
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3118
Joined: 08 Jun 2006 15:02
Contact:

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby abhijitm » 02 Nov 2018 10:29

Meanwhile pak is first country to recognize Rajapakse as lankan PM.

UlanBatori
BRF Oldie
Posts: 9747
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby UlanBatori » 04 Nov 2018 18:36

India needs to act (overtly or otherwise). Pakis recognizing the cheen agint settles matters. This is far more in-ur-face than the Maldives tamasha. Of course if the other guy is seen to be bailed out by India that may be "log-kya-kahenge" but allowing this twerp to trash SL's already-fragile democracy is worse. Seems like the President needs to retire citing health and personal issues, followed by arrest of the usurping "PeeEm". By the SL authorities of course. OTOH, the Wikramasinghe dude appears to be a sort of Weimar Republic neta: ineffective.

New neta/ newly-gola-grown Wikramasinghe should cancel the Hambantota deal outright (US and India should stand up in Security Council and squash any UN fallout from cheen displeasure). Wikkie needs to visit Maldives on an extended basis. In the hold of a slow fishing trawler like one of the pakis (remember the picture?) arriving at Guantanamo strung in a net in a C-130. Then he can be delivered to the ICJ/War Crimes tribunal to stand trial for genocide.

Doing RealPolitik per advice of the oiseules who "guided" 1980s Indian policy on SL, would be fatal to Indian interests and human interests in general.

Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 19622
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 04 Nov 2018 19:27

The betrayer pres. and the man whom he betrayed and has brought back to power are Chin puppets.India can trust a rabid India-hating Paki better than either of these
treacherous two.The glove has to come off and reveal the mailed fist.For far too long our MEA has acted like ...........

Hari Nair
BRFite
Posts: 144
Joined: 20 Aug 2010 17:37
Location: Bangalore

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Hari Nair » 08 Nov 2018 16:15

There is a recent analytical article by a couple of Reuters correspondents on what precipitated the present situation and is worth a read:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sri- ... SKCN1ND0D1

It appears that President Sirisena has been bought well under the influence of the Chinese.

Just a thought - how does this all tie in with Mr Subramanian Swamy's favourable assessment of Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa and inviting him to our country just about a month before this coup of sorts? Any opinions by experts?

Bart S
BRFite
Posts: 1328
Joined: 15 Aug 2016 00:03

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Bart S » 08 Nov 2018 16:18

Subramanian Swamy has been quite pro-China in some of his statements so it might be that he sees it in that light. But he is not the GOI nor is he a major influencer of the powers to be and hence slightly tangential to the challenges facing Indian interests in SL.

nithish
BRFite
Posts: 401
Joined: 02 Oct 2009 02:41

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby nithish » 09 Nov 2018 23:25

Sri Lanka President dissolves parliament; calls for early polls

In another surprise move, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday decided to dissolve the Parliament and call for early elections.

The move comes exactly two weeks after the President has appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa as new Prime minister replacing Ranil Wickremsinghe.

President sworn in ministers to the remaining cabinet posts on Friday evening before announcing the dissolution.

Parliament was to convene on Wednesday and speaker Karu Jayasurya and group led by ousted Prime minister Ranil Wickremsinghe have demanded that parliament take on vote to decide upon majority on the first day itself.

Earlier, a government spokesman said new government still needed at least eight more votes in the 225 member assembly to reach the required 113 for majority.

He said that at the moment they have 104 or 105 MPs but expressed confidence that they will prove their majority during floor test.



Sri Lanka to hold snap election on Jan 5
COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka will hold a snap election in January, the country's president announced on Friday (Nov 9), hours after dissolving parliament when it became clear his prime minister nominee did not have a majority.

Maithripala Sirisena said in a proclamation that a new parliament will be convened on Jan 17 after conducting the nation-wide vote on Jan 5.

The election timetable was accompanied by an official notice dismissing the nation's 225-member assembly with effect from midnight.


Supratik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5566
Joined: 09 Nov 2005 10:21
Location: USA

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Supratik » 10 Nov 2018 18:56

They should go to the SC of SL as elections may be rigged.

chetak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17650
Joined: 16 May 2008 12:00

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby chetak » 10 Nov 2018 19:26

Supratik wrote:They should go to the SC of SL as elections may be rigged.


Please do not spread unfounded rumours like this.

It will be a very fair election.

After all, the chinese are going to be running it.

They have already started to count the votes.

This way the results are known in advance and the winning candidate would be chosen after all the ballots are accounted for.

The busy SLs may not even be troubled to disrupt their daily routine and waste their time coming to vote.

Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 19622
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 11 Nov 2018 14:23

http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat ... tle=194217
UNP to go to Supreme Court
November 10, 2018, 8:41 pm
Colombo, Nov. 10 (AFP) -

Sri Lanka’s largest single party Saturday said it will mount a legal challenge against "tyrant" President Maithripala Sirisena’s shock sacking of the legislature.

"We will go to the courts," Mangala Samaraweera from the United National Party (UNP) told reporters in Colombo. "We will fight in the courts, we will fight in parliament and we will fight at the polls."

Samaraweera said his party had supported Sirisena to come to power in January 2015, hoping he would be a benevolent leader like Nelson Mandela of South Africa, but that he had shown himself to be a "tyrant."

"He (Sirisena) came to power promising to be a Mandela, but we ended up getting a Mugabe, a mad man," Samaraweera said, referring to Zimbabwe’s strongman former president Robert Mugabe.
:rotfl:

He said the UNP along with its allies had an absolute majority in the 225-member assembly and despite the sacking of the assembly, the party would publicly demonstrate its majority to the people.

"We will demonstrate to the public of Sri Lanka our majority. Maithripala Sirisena dissolved a parliament where we enjoyed a majority," he said.

"We will fight the emerging tyranny of Sirisena. We will fight it in the courts, fight it in parliament and we are also ready to fight against this tyranny at the polls.

"We are on the right side of democracy, we are sure we can win this battle," he added.

He said Sirisena had "kicked the constitution in the teeth" when he dismissed the assembly after failing to muster a majority to legitimise his replacement prime minister Mahinda Rajapakse after a two-week stand off.



Latest titbit.The pretender to the throne of PM .a local Chinaman-one MR,taking his cue from the late emperor Caligula,has decided to make his pet donkey PM-in-waiting.Moral of the story is that in Sri Lanka,even an ass can become PM if you have a president who is a monkey!

abhijitm
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3118
Joined: 08 Jun 2006 15:02
Contact:

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby abhijitm » 12 Nov 2018 19:00

Who is calling the shot? India or China? or none!

GoI was vocal and made dissent clear in no ambiguous terms when maldives crashed into crisis. Here it seems we are closely watching but that can mean anything.

RAW has good presence in SL. NSA should be getting hourly report on the situation.

venug
BRFite
Posts: 157
Joined: 15 Aug 2016 21:39

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby venug » 13 Nov 2018 18:47

Lanka SC overturns dissolution of Parliament by Sirisena
18:27 Lanka SC overturns dissolution of Parliament by Sirisena:
JUST IN: The Sri Lankan Supreme Court has overturned dissolving of Parliament by President Maithripala Sirisena, agency reports say.

Sri Lanka's major political parties and an election commission member on Monday dragged Sirisena to the Supreme Court, challenging his controversial move of dissolving Parliament, almost 20 months before its term was to end.

Sirisena dissolved Parliament on November 9 and announced snap polls to be held on January 5 next year after it became evident that he did not have enough support in the House to prove the premiership of 72-year-old Mahinda Rajapaksa, whom he has appointed prime minister after abruptly sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe on October 26.

Rajapaksa needed the support of minimum 113 parliamentarians in the 225-member House to prove his majority.

Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP), the main opposition Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the leftist JVP or the People's Liberation Front (PLF) were among the 10 groups that filed the fundamental rights petitions in the apex court, seeking declaration of the president's action as illegal, officials said.

Dumal
BRFite
Posts: 194
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Dumal » 14 Nov 2018 13:24

http://www.rediff.com/news/report/lankan-parliament-votes-against-pm-rajapaksa/20181114.htm

Wow! That was a fairly quick follow-up by the parliament to kick out Rajapaksa! Don't know exactly what efforts and coordination our MEA can take credit for but whatever it is, it was done quietly and with little or no ripples! Way to go!

Lankan parliament votes against PM Rajapaksa
Last updated on: November 14, 2018 11:46 IST

In a major setback to President Maithripala Sirisena, the Sri Lankan Parliament on Wednesday passed a no-confidence motion against the government headed by his controversially-appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The Parliament on Wednesday met for the first time since October 26, when President Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and suspended the Parliament plunging the island nation into a crisis.

Parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya announced that a majority of the 225-member assembly supported the no-confidence motion against Rajapaksa, who was appointed by President Sirisena as prime minister on October 26 in place of Wickremesinghe.

“According to the voice, I recognise that the government has no majority,” Jayasuriya announced in the House as Rajapaksa supporters protested.

He gave the ruling after the no-confidence motion was taken for a vote. The Speaker calculated the votes based on the voices he heard as Rajapaksa supporters disrupted the proceedings.

Jayasuriya later adjourned the House until 10 am Thursday.

Wickremesinghe’s United National Party Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa later told reporters that the government clearly lost the floor test.

He said Prime Minister Rajapaksa must now step down as he does not have majority support in Parliament.

The unexpected session on Wednesday morning comes a day after the Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned President Sirisena’s controversial decision to dissolve Parliament and halted the preparations for snap polls on January 5.

In its ruling, the apex court had said Sirisena’s dissolution of Parliament will be suspended until December 7 and it will consider all the petitions filed on the President’s decision next month before giving a final ruling.

After the court verdict, Speaker Jayasuriya summoned Parliament’s session for Wednesday morning.

Sirisena dissolved Parliament after it became clear that he lacked support from lawmakers to install Rajapaksa as the new prime minister following his sacking of Wickremesinghe as premier.

While sacking Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, president Sirisena had also suspended Parliament till November 16. He, however, advanced the convening of the House to November 14 amid international and domestic pressure against the move.

Major political parties, including the United National Party and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and an election commission member Ratnajeevan Hoole, on Monday dragged Sirisena to the Supreme Court, challenging his decision by filing fundamental rights petitions against the move, which they said violated the Constitution.

Sirisena dissolved Parliament last week, almost 20 months before its term was to end, and ordered snap election on January 5, plunging the country’s into an unprecedented political and constitutional crises.

Wickremesinghe has maintained that his sacking by Sirisena was unconstitutional and illegal and he was still the prime minister.

Wickremesinghe had demanded that Parliament be convened to hold a vote among the lawmakers to decide who enjoyed majority support in Parliament to be the prime minister.

As pressure grew and both sides claimed they had the numbers, the president dissolved Parliament and called for elections.

Rajapaksa needed the support of minimum 113 parliamentarians in the 225-member House to prove his majority.

Sirisena on Sunday stoutly defended his move to dissolve Parliament, saying it was taken to prevent clashes among rival lawmakers. He said there were reports that politicians would clash during the floor test, which was due on November 14.

Rajapaksa, 72, who ruled Lanka for a nearly decades from 2005, was unexpectedly defeated by his deputy Sirisena in the presidential election held in January 2015 with the support from Wickremesinghe’s UNP.

However, the power-sharing arrangement between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe became increasingly tenuous on several policy matters, especially on issues like the economy and security. And subsequently, Sirisena abruptly ousted Wickremesinghe and replaced him with Rajapaksa.

chetak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17650
Joined: 16 May 2008 12:00

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby chetak » 14 Nov 2018 13:59

Will the SL army tanks/APCs roll out now, to scare the dothies off their judiciary??

Image

chetak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17650
Joined: 16 May 2008 12:00

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby chetak » 14 Nov 2018 15:24

It looks like the SL parliament has voted out the pretender rajapakse.

But the president still retains the power to choose the successor.

wickramasinghe is not an automatic choice.

So, the chowmein khichidi is still being cooked in the cheeni kitchens and the han chefs are still labouring hard to get the taste and flavour just right, no??.

Bart S
BRFite
Posts: 1328
Joined: 15 Aug 2016 00:03

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Bart S » 14 Nov 2018 16:42

Also, it looks like Rajapakse still has significant support among the Sinhala population despite his blatant corruption and nepotism, and is very confident of winning the elections (which was why elections were declared before the court struck it down). So he may be back soon anyway, this problem for India is far from gone.

chetak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17650
Joined: 16 May 2008 12:00

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby chetak » 14 Nov 2018 17:07

Bart S wrote:Also, it looks like Rajapakse still has significant support among the Sinhala population despite his blatant corruption and nepotism, and is very confident of winning the elections (which was why elections were declared before the court struck it down). So he may be back soon anyway, this problem for India is far from gone.


The center has been needlessly mindful of the SL tamilians for a long time now because of TN's devious BIF led dravidian politics with its own inbuilt separatist tendencies.

We should have nothing to do with the SL tamilians or even build houses for them or whatever. They are not our people.

Such foolishness will very obviously raise the sinhala hackles. Having thus raised their hackles, we cannot now complain about how sinhala politics plays out in SL.

It's entirely their own business.

However, I fully agree with you about the problem for India being far from gone.

Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 19622
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 16 Nov 2018 17:51

SL is fast heading for an emergency as it is becoming more evident that that is the strategy that Rajapakse and his new-found love,pres. Silly-sena are embarked upon.

Without a majority in parliament,the pretender to the throne of PM,Rajapakse,is doing his damndest to prevent parliament from functioning by unleashing his thugs-of-war MPs in the house armed with knives,microphones and furniture and now throwing chilli powder into the eyes of the rival MPs.
A virtual civil war is going on in the Lankan house,a great tragedy as it has had some of the best parliamentarians and speakers that S.Asia has seen in the past,who cherished the style and nuances of parliamentary democracy in its finest form.

On course is an inevitable declaration of an emergency by the pres. saying that since parliament cannot function since its members are engaged in physical violence,he must take matters into his own hands.If he has the support of the military it will be possible as it would result in large-scale protests in the streets.

An outside possibility is a military coup,which may be attractive to some of the younger battle-hardened gents in uniform who saw off the LTTE.
Is there a role for FM Fonseka perhaps? Anything is possible in the island right now.However,the GOI must take emergency measures to physically intervene and crack heads in the island's politicos as any emergency and rule by rifle would be with the blessings of the Chinese who are orchestrating a do or die campaign for Rajapakse and his familia and pro-China cronies, to regain power. One option for us is to enforce an air and naval blockade if the sh*t hits the fan with a civil war engulfing the streets and the lives of Indian-origin Lankans are aso threatened.

India cannot abdicate its security interests and duty to restore peace and the rule of law and democracy in its key neighbour just 20 miles away from our southern coastline,where our most virulent mortal enemy is trying to turn into a satellite province and military base right below out underbelly.The continuing silence by our MEA is shockingand incomprehensible at the happenings in the island.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... parliament
Sri Lanka MPs hurl 'chilli powder' and chairs in fresh chaos
Legislators allied to disputed PM Rajapaksa fight with rivals in second day of clashes

Michael Safi and Amantha Perera in Colombo

Fri 16 Nov 2018
A clash between rival members of the Sri Lankan parliament, in Colombo. Photograph: AFP/Getty

Sri Lanka’s parliament has been disrupted for a second day, with legislators allied to the disputed prime minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, hurling chairs at police officers and allegedly throwing chilli powder at opposing MPs.


It was the latest violent incident in the crisis that erupted three weeks ago, when the president, Maithripala Sirisena, suddenly announced he had sacked the prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and installed Rajapaksa in his place.

Despite the violence, the pro-Rajapaksa MPs failed to prevent the assembly from passing a no-confidence motion in his leadership, dismissing his government for the second time this week.

Unlike the previous vote, however, Friday’s motion omitted any reference to misconduct on the part of Sirisena. The change indicates the president could recognise the motion this time and agree to terminate Rajapaksa’s leadership. :rotfl:

Rajapaksa’s forces have already said they will reject Friday’s vote. “We say Mahinda Rajapaksa heads the government,” said Dinesh Gunawardena, a Rajapaksa ally. “We shall agitate for elections. The country is in anarchy. The parliament is in anarchy.”

Security was heavy in parliament on Friday after the previous day’s session had to be abandoned when MPs scuffled inside the chamber, requiring one to be hospitalised. One MP, Palitha Thewarapperuma of the United National party, was seen wielding a knife in Thursday’s fray.

An airforce helicopter landed on the parliamentary grounds moments before the sitting was scheduled to begin, ready to evacuate anyone in danger or requiring medical attention.

Before the session could start, MPs allied to Rajapaksa surrounded the Speaker’s ceremonial chair, shouting protests at the use of knives in Thursday’s brawl.

From today's chaotic hearing in Sri Lanka - police officers being treated for injuries after being attacked by MPs. Two other MPs reeling after chilli powder was throw in their faces.
Extraordinary scenes @AmanthaP pic.twitter.com/HBzM3P17me
November 16, 2018

More than two dozen police officers entered the chamber with their arms linked, trying to escort the Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya, inside along with parliamentary officials in white coats carrying a ceremonial mace.

As Rajapaksa watched from his chair, his MPs attacked the officers with chairs and books, injuring at least two. Other legislators tipped the Speaker’s ceremonial chair to the floor and dragged it across the ground.

Taking refuge on a side bench and surrounded by officers, Jayasuriya called for a voice vote on the no-confidence motion in Rajapaksa. A roar erupted across the chamber and the Speaker declared the vote carried by a majority.

Jayasuriya must now formally communicate the result to Sirisena, which he is expected to do later on Friday.
Sri Lanka MPs fight in parliament as political turmoil continues – video

Outside the chamber, MPs Gamini Jayawickrama Perera and Vijitha Herath could be seen rubbing their eyes, with splotches of chilli splattered across their robes.
“They have behaved as beasts, not as human beings,” Herath told reporters outside the chamber.

He wore a large bandage across his forehead, saying he was injured when an opposing lawmaker lobbed a copy of the Sri Lankan constitution at his head.

If recognised by Sirisena, who ultimately commands the country’s armed forces and police, Friday’s no-confidence motion would leave the country without a prime minister.

It is unclear if Wickremesinghe will be restored to his position by parliament when it resumes on Monday. Also uncertain is how Rajapaksa and his supporters will respond to the result.

He tweeted after the result: “The Speaker’s ad-hoc decisions are the main reason for today’s situation in parliament. The need is to go for a election and lead the way to a stable parliament.”

“Today Sri Lankans have again seen deplorable behaviour by some MPs, unbecoming of them and of their noble institution,” the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, James Dauris, wrote on Twitter. “No parliament can perform its role when its own members stop it from doing so.”



PS:Given the scale of violence unleashed by the Rajapakse thugs,the Speaker is well within his rights to expel or at least suspend them from parliament,a decision which the SC will definitely uphold since it has already supported him in the reconvening of the house.Criminal charges must be brought against the thugs MPs and they should be arrested.
A failure to do so will see more violence unleahed and would give the pres. the golden opportunity to declare an emergency,martial law in his interests in "saving his seat"...sorry."the country"!


Return to “Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], TKiran and 29 guests