Sri Lanka crisis paralyses govt | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 09, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:55 PM, November 08, 2018

Sri Lanka crisis paralyses govt

Says key MP of Rajapakse's party

A prolonged power-struggle between Sri Lanka's president and his sacked prime minister has paralysed the island's government and must be solved immediately, a key MP said.

President Maithripala Sirisena is yet to appoint several ministers since controversially dismissing Ranil Wickremesinghe's administration last month and appointing former strongman Mahinda Rajapakse in his place.

The move, which has been described as illegal by opponents, has triggered a constitutional crisis.

Sirisena has filled only 20 of 30 cabinet positions -- purposefully keeping some portfolios vacant to tempt legislators of Wickremesinghe's party to defect to his and Rajapakse's side ahead of a parliamentary vote on November 14.

The vote will determine whether Wickremesinghe or Rajapakse has a majority to form a government.

"Our country is going down the precipice. No one is working in government offices," Kumar Welgama, a senior member of Rajapakse's party and an influential Sri Lankan politician, told reporters in Colombo on Wednesday night.

"Public servants want to know who the real PM is. People are confused," he added, calling for the suspension of parliament to be lifted so that the issue of who is the rightful prime minister can be settled.

"Today, we are the laughing stock of the world. One prime minister is in the official residence and the other is in the PM's office.

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