Sri Lanka President tells diplomats he acted under Sinhala constitution: spokesman

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena had told the members of the diplomatic community that he acted on a constitutional provision in the Sinhalese language, a government spokesman said amid an intensifying political crisis.

Ports Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said while the 19th amendment of the constitution was passed, he argued that Article 48, in Sinhalese provided for the Prime Minister to have been removed.

Article 48 related to the cabinet of ministers. The Prime Minister end of term are separately provided for in the 19th amendment. In Sri Lanka a Prime Minister can also be removed by a vote of no confidence.

Co-spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said if there are disputes they have to be resolved in courts.

"The problem is Ranil Wickremesinghe only reads the English constitution," Samarasinghe quipped.

Parties representing a majority of members in parliament had called on the speaker to recall parliament.

Samarasinghe said there was no need to recall parliament early.  The first day will be a ceremonial opening.

If Ranil Wickremesinghe wanted, he could bring in a vote of no confidence, Samarasinghe said. There was however a process in introducing and taking up a vote of no confidence.

Rambukwelle said a vote on account (interim budget) will be introduced soon after parliament re-opens.

Wijedasa Rajapaksa, who defected from the Wickremesinghe’s camp to told the media that the if the vote on account is dissolved President could dissolve the parliament.





Wickremesinghe had said earlier that, under the 19th amendment the President could not dissolve the parliament for 4.5 years and members would not accept it. (Colombo/Oct30/2018)

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