Sri Lanka legislature gives up on pandering to a hostile president

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s parliament Wednesday defied a hostile president and decided not to proceed with a de facto no-trust resolution against the disputed government and instead moved closer to an impeachment.

Maithripala Sirisena had asked the largest single party, the United National Party, to bring another resolution reconfirming the previous no-trust votes against Mahinda Rajapaksa and his purported cabinet.

The parliament’s action came a day after Sirisena vowed he will never reinstate Ranil Wickremesinghe who was controversially sacked on October 26.   “Even if all 225 members of parliament want it, I will not reappoint Ranil,” Sirisena announced on Tuesday.

UNP made it clear Wednesday that there was no point in pandering to requests from Sirisena who remains adamant and shows no signs of wanting to end the power struggle.

JVP’s Vijitha Herath said there was no point in proceeding with another no-confidence against Rajapaksa after the Court of Appeal on Monday upheld that the November 14 no-trust resolution against Rajapaksa was valid and since then there is  no government in the country.

“Sirisena has already violated the constitution and the courts have held that he intentionally violated it,” Herath told parliament. “He will face not only an impeachment, but he will also lose his civic rights.”

In his first public reference to the conduct of the courts, Sirisena told a convention of his Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) on Tuesday that many people had reservations about recent conduct of courts.

“Some people think the judiciary is neutral and independent. Another section feels that they are one-sided and partisan.” (COLOMBO, December 5, 2018)

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