Sri Lankan Court Suspends Functions Of New Prime Minister, Cabinet


A Sri Lankan Court on Monday suspended the functions of the newly-appointed prime minister and his cabinet until a final hearing of a case filed by the ousted premier and his parliamentarians, officials said.

The interim order issued by the Court of Appeal prevents Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his ministers from performing any official duties with immediately effect.

Rajapaksa was appointed prime minister on Oct. 26 by President Maithriapala Sirisena after his predecessor Ranil Wickremesinghe was sacked.

Wickremesinghe and 121 other members of parliament filed legal complaints challenging the newly-appointed premier and his cabinet.

Sirisena also dissolved parliament, but Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) and other opposition parties obtained a separate order suspending that decision.

A final verdict is due before Friday.

The controversial sacking of the prime minister and his party has plunged the country into a political crisis, resulting in the disruption of government services and a delay to the presentation of 2019’s budget.

The UNP and its allies have proved that they had a majority in parliament on four separate occasions, but Sirisena has refused to accept it.

The UNP and its allies are expected to pass another no-confidence motion on Wednesday against Rajapaksa to prove that they have a majority of more 113 members in the 225-seat parliament.

Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe and his government claiming they were corrupt and involved in a plot to assassinate him.