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Sri Lanka: Court bars Rajapaksa from acting as PM

Worsening the political scenario in the island nation, a Sri Lankan court today barred Mahinda Rajapaksa from acting as Prime Minister. This is a major set back to President Maithripala Sirisena who had installed his former rival in place of Ranil Wickremesinghe in a controversial decision. The Appeal Court issued notice and an interim order against Rajapaksa and his Government, preventing them from acting as Prime Minister, Cabinet and Deputy Ministers. The order was issued in a Quo Warranto case filed by 122 MPs against Rajapaksa and his Government.

Lanka is witnessing a political crisis since October 26 when President Sirisena sacked Wickeremesinghe and replaced him with Rajapaksa. Sirisena later dissolved Parliament, almost 20 months before its term was to end, and ordered a snap election. The Supreme Court overturned Sirisena’s decision to dissolve Parliament and halted the preparations for snap polls.

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. The UNF has moved three no trust motions against Rajapaksa, who has refused to step down.

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