Sri Lanka’s parliament has dismissed the government established by President Maithripala Sirisena with a vote of no confidence. A majority of the 225 MPs had mistrusted Mahinda Rajapakse during the vote today, said Parliament President Karu Jayasuriya.
The South Asian island nation is in a political crisis since Sirisena dismissed incumbent Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the end of October, appointing ex-president Mahinda Rajapakse instead. Since then, supporters and supporters of both sides have repeatedly been protesting on the streets.
Sirisena dissolved parliament
On Friday, Sirisena had dissolved the parliament and scheduled new elections on January 5. Yesterday, the Supreme Court reversed the dissolution of parliament. The vote of no confidence against Rajapakse does not mean that Wickremesinghe has won the power struggle. Sirisena can now appoint a new head of government.
Rajapakse served as president of the Indian Ocean island state from 2005 to January 2015 and ruled with an iron hand. In a military offensive against the rebel group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, under his rule in 2009, 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed, according to human rights groups. Critics also accuse him of corruption and the murder of political opponents.