13 April, 2021

The Gavel Holds Up Democracy

The supreme court deals the Sirisena-Rajapaksa duo a blow

A candle-lit sit-in protests the dissolution of the parliament in Colombo
Photograph by AP
The Gavel Holds Up Democracy

Until Tuesday, political deve­lop­me­nts in Sri Lanka had been moving according to a script that would have met Mahinda Raja­paksa’s approval. But the Supr­eme Court’s ruling late in the afternoon, restoring the dissolved par­­­­lia­­ment and putting an end to plans for fresh parliamentary polls slated for January 5, seems to have spoilt the plot.

The apex court’s ruling means that parliament is likely to be restored soon. But it is not clear which of the two PMs—Ranil Wickremesinghe or his repl­acement, Rajapaksa, will be called to face the trust of the House.

President Maithripala Sirisena had on October 26 dismissed Wickremesinghe and appointed Rajapaksa in his place, plunging the nation into a political crisis. But though the latter formed a cabinet, his MPs could not get enough support from others to form a government and face a floor test. At this, Sirisena dissolved parliament last week, ringing the bell for fresh polls. Since Wickremesinghe is now claiming that the court order also...

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