Sri Lanka’s new PM may lose budget even as he clings to power
Sri Lanka’s newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, who lost two motions of no confidence last week, may lose his government’s budget even as he clings to power.
Lawmakers opposed to Rajapaksa said they intend to remove funding for staff salaries and other costs in a vote on Nov. 29. The opposition, which regards his administration as illegitimate, will also seek approval to slash the government’s overall budget, they said.
It was the latest of several new twists on Monday in the political chaos that has embroiled Sri Lanka for the past few weeks.
Leaders of political parties backing Rajapaksa and President Maithripala Sirisena refused to allow a third motion of no confidence to be held through name call or electronic voting on Monday. The previous two motions passed through a voice vote but Sirisena said they hadn’t followed the proper procedures.
Sirisena appointed Rajapaksa last month after firing Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister, setting off the political turmoil on the island off India’s southeast coast.
Rajapaksa is seen as a close ally of China, though Beijing has denied accusations that it was instrumental in getting him appointed.
Dinesh Gunawardene, a Rajapaksa loyalist, said Wickremesinghe’s coalition had handed a motion “to suspend all government expenses” to the speaker and the parliament secretary.
“According to the previous no confidence motions, both Rajapaksa and his government are out. There is no government, but there are MPs,” M.A. Sumanthiran, a lawmaker who had voted for the no confidence motion, told Reuters.
“The finance of the country is under the control of the parliament. Now we have proposed a motion to stop government finances for the prime minister’s office,” he said.
Ananda Kumarasiri, the deputy speaker of the parliament, established a select committee to carry on parliamentary business before adjourning the house to Nov. 23.
Unlike last Thursday and Friday there were no physical altercations on the floor of parliament on Monday. On Friday, lawmakers supporting Rajapaksa threw books, chili paste and water bottles at the speaker to try to disrupt the second vote.
Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya said in a statement that investigations have begun into Friday’s events, including damage that was done to public property in the melee.
The political crisis has hit the economy. On Monday, the rupee fell to a record low of 177.20 per dollar. Foreign investors have pulled out more than 30 billion rupees ($169.5 million) since the crisis unfolded on Oct. 26.
Wickremesinghe loyalists allege that Rajapaksa’s party is trying to buy lawmakers for as much as $3 million each. Rajapaksa loyalists have rejected the allegation.
Both Sirisena and many Rajapaksa loyalists have said they have the majority in parliament. However, the no confidence motion against Rajapaksa and his government was passed twice by 122 votes in the 225-member parliament.
Most foreign countries, including Western nations, have yet to recognize Rajapaksa as the prime minister.
Last week, eight Western countries stayed away from a meeting with the government to register their protest against Sirisena’s decision to dissolve parliament.
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The Fake PM travels from Wijerama Mawatha residence to Parliament in an Air Force Helicopter!
Two brand new Bullet proof Range Rovers are being air freighted from the UK for the Fake PM’s office for electioneering purposes.
What more can you want?
The Pollonnaruwa Pambaya has converted our Nation into Mugabe’s Zimbabwe in less than 3 weeks. What an achievement!
All the motions happened to be so far not legal.
If Those thugs come to power again,it will be like a curse to our Nation.its unfortunate that even educated people dont see the reality because they are partial and blind maybe due to some personal benefit from those thugs .sri
Lankans ,dont lick the feet of the thugs ,like slaves ,wake up.We need to live our life
with freedom,without fear .
You mean like the fear all Sri Lankanshad during thr war. Sri Lankans dont kiss the fert of the thugs but lick the feat of the ehite men. No pne seems to remember who helped my3 to become president. No one seems to wsnt to remember the Central bank robbery. RW is such an angel so lets hope he gets back to rob the country and sell every thing.
Sri Lankans are dignified people.
We fostered this Pollonnaruwa Pambaya because he was promoted by the Late Ven Sobitha.
The Rajapaksa excesses were biting society and we humbly put up with that following conclusion of the war.
The Rajapaksa eliminated the Tamil Terrorists, true, but that does not give them a licence to loot national wealth and tetra all citizens as crooks and send white vans and murderers to clear whom they did not like.
Now this Polonnaruwa Pambaya who promised to be a one term President is lapping his lips at the wealth he has made and at the wealth he is likely to make in his second term.
He is challenged by RW’s presence; he is believing RW has and will curtail his obnoxious greed for wealth.
The Country is heading to disaster; it is already a PARIAH STATE.
All because of the greediness of the Polonnaruwa Pambaya and his family.
Fiery. I agree with your comments. How ever Rw is also responsible for supporting the idea of turning a Gamarala in to a president. Unfortunately RW and every one else who supported the idea under estimated My3’s level of greed. At the end of the day My3 played all of them.
Dinesh Gunwardena is the fox son of Boralugoda lion.
He has no any ethics in parliament-asked the majority in selection committee.
Dear friends, your comments appears to be based on pro/con corruption, wastage,negligence and ignorance etc. These comments, however correct have created antipathy within reasonable people towards entire political system in S.L.. I don’t think characteristics of good governance other than Rule of Law are sufficiently taken up. According to my perception, Comments should require strategic aspects for strengthening / straightening entire system including political system. Accusing each other won’t help solving the crisis but consolidation of already corrupted status-quo. Don’t you think so ?