Colombo (PTI): Ousted Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s alliance on Friday won control of a powerful panel in Parliament, dealing a major blow to President Maithripala Sirisena and his prime ministerial appointee Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Sirisena’s party members walked out of Parliament, which resumed its session on Friday after being adjourned on Monday, protesting against Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s move to appoint five members of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) which is led by the President.
The Speaker named five members from the United National Front (UNF) of Wickremesinghe, and one each from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).
This is in continuation of the political unrest plaguing the country since 26 October.
Both Wickremesinghe and Rajapaksa claim to be the prime ministers. Wickremesinghe says his dismissal is invalid because he still holds a majority in the 225-member Parliament.
Jayasuriya, at the start of the session, announced that following a meeting of all party leaders which ended without an agreement over the composition of the committee, he had decided to grant five members each to the UPFA and the UNF. The committee would comprise 12 members, he said.