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Sri Lanka Speaker recognizes earlier status quo

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has said that he is recognizing the status quo before the political crisis that was triggered on October 26, until a majority is prove by a new group.

He said a majority of members had pointed out to him that recent events were unconstitutional and against the traditions of the country and had asked for the situation before the crisis (state quo ante) to be recognized.

Until a group "demonstrates a majority in parliament I re-iterate that I am compelled to recognize the situation that prevailed earlier," Jayasuriya said in a statement issued in Sinhalese.

He said he cannot stay silent as there are report of state agencies being taken over forcibly and legislators being given inducements to change sides.

He said the events of the past week should not happen in a democratic society.

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister last Friday, triggering a constitutional crisis with incumbent Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe insisting that he was still Prime Minister.

Sarath Amunugama, who was appointed Foreign Minister by President Sirisena, told reporters that Jayasuriya should not not issued the statement and actions of the President was within the constitution. He said the matter should be sorted out in court.

Sri Lanka’s Attorney General has also declined to advise the speaker that the appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa was legal raising more questions.

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