Sacked Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
Sacked Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

Wickremesinghe's supporters win control of key Lankan Parliament committee

ANI | Updated: Nov 23, 2018 21:29 IST

Colombo [Sri Lanka], Nov 23 (ANI): Lawmakers supporting sacked Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have taken control of Sri Lanka Parliament's main committee on Friday, in a major setback for President Maithripala Sirisena and his prime ministerial appointee Mahinda Rajapaksa.
A vote was taken by name through the electronic voting system, where the opposition secured the 12-member committee with Wickremesinghe's alliance voting 121 for and none against in the 225-member Sri Lankan Parliament, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said, Colombo Page reported.
The Speaker named five members each from the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) led by Sirisena and United National Front (UNF) led by Wickremesinghe, and one each from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) respectively.
During the voting process, pro-Rajapaksa supporters created a brief ruckus in the Sri Lankan Parliament, when they staged a walkout, alleging that the Speaker was "biased".
Prior to the vote, the UPFA demanded a lion's share in the 12-member committee. The opposition parties, including the UNF, maintained that the allocations should be done equally for the two major parties -- UFPA and UNF.
Sri Lanka has been witnessing a turbulent political turmoil for almost a month ever since Sirisena abruptly sacked Wickremesinghe and appointed Rajapaksa, the country's former President, as the new premier.
Last week, the Sri Lankan Parliament turned into a virtual war-zone when the legislators got into fistfights, hurled objects at each other and even tried to attack Speaker Jayasuriya following Rajapaksa's loss in the trust vote. Although Rajapaksa has lost the no-confidence motion twice, he has refused to back down, along with Sirisena, who has disapproved the decision.
An all-party meeting recently called by Sirisena failed to break the ice in the ongoing political crisis in the island nation. The ongoing power struggle has led to a downgrade of Sri Lanka's credit rating.
The political turmoil has left the Sri Lankan democratic system in tatters, with massive protests being held by Wickremesinghe's supporters and party lawmakers, who have repeatedly called Sirisena's move as "unconstitutional". (ANI)