Sri Lanka: UNP holds protest against political crisis

Colombo: Members and supporters of United National Party (UNP) on Thursday took to streets in protest as the political and constitutional turmoil grew in Sri Lanka.

Supporters of former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe protested against his ouster and demanding restoration of the democracy in the country.

Former Sri Lankan Cabinet Minister Harsha de Silva tweeted, “Massive crowds at protest rally at Lipton Circus. @MaithripalaS please note that we have power both inside and outside the House. #FakePM better listen to the people and respect democracy. You have no confidence in the Legislature. Go for God’s sake Go! #CoupLK”

Addressing the rally at Lipton Circus in Town Hall, Member of Parliament Patali Champika Ranawaka requested the government to hold both the General Election and the Presidential Election together.

Daily Mirror Sri Lanka quoted Ranawaka as saying, “We would defeat both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa will be defeated by more than 7 million of votes this time. For the first time in the history, a president has changed his political camp. We will respond to this next time.”

Challenging President Maithripala Sirisena and the now-ousted Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa said, “We are not afraid of guns or ammunitions. We will win through democracy. All they know is how to oppress the people and issue threats.”

Sri Lanka tumbled into a constitutional crisis after President Sirisena ousted then-Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and swore Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister.
Sirisena further suspended the country’s Parliamentary proceedings until November 16.
Sirisena on November 5 announced to reconvene the Sri Lankan Parliament on November 14, amid rising demands by legislators of the state to end the political crisis in the island nation as soon as possible.
On November 14, the Sri Lankan Parliament passed a no-confidence motion against the government of the newly-sworn Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Following which the Sri Lankan Parliament on Thursday witnessed a huge ruckus as members got into fistfights, hurled objects at each and even tried to attack Speaker Karu Jayasuriya following the ouster of newly-sworn in Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.