Published: Tue, December 04, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Sri Lanka Court Issues Order to Prevent Rajapaksa Acting as PM

Sri Lanka Court Issues Order to Prevent Rajapaksa Acting as PM

Rajapakse's lawyers on Tuesday filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal, but it was not immediately taken up for hearing.

"An interim order is granted against the first respondent functioning as the prime minister.also issuing interim order against 30 other respondents functioning in their offices", judge Preethipadhman Surasena said.

Rajapakse, who was installed after the country's president sacked Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister on October 26, has twice been voted out by parliament but has refused to step down.

The Court of Appeal temporary halted Rajapaksa and his Cabinet from functioning in their positions in response to a case filed by 122 legislators against the disputed government.

Sirisena later dissolved Parliament, nearly 20 months before its term was to end, and ordered snap election.

However, with Wickremesinghe's supporters still controlling a majority in Parliament, which has witnessed brawls between MPs in recent weeks, Rajapakse has lost two votes of confidence.

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The lawmakers, who command 14 seats and hold the balance of power in the legislature, met Sirisena to discuss the release of more than 100 Tamil detainees held in custody for several years without trial.

Sirisena, a former opponent of Rajapakse, told a group of legislators on Monday that he would not reinstate Wickremesinghe even if the latter had the support of all 225 members of the legislature.

In fact, President Sirisena had said a few times that he will never appoint Wickremesinghe.

The decision casts further legal doubt over Rajapakse's claim to lead Sri Lanka, which has been in turmoil since his controversial appointment a month ago.

The Sri Lankan president has said that due to sharp personal differences with Wickremesinghe he would not reappoint him as the Prime Minister.

The sources said the president may now rescind the order, effectively pre-empting a court ruling that they expect to overturn his decision anyway.

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