Colombo: In a surprise move, the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has suspended parliament until May 8, days after fractures appeared in the island nation’s ruling coalition government. “The president has prorogued parliament until May 8,” his secretary Austin Fernando said. He declined to give any reasons for the decision.
The move came after the government promised a cabinet reshuffle after a no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was defeated last week. Six ministers of Sirisena-led unity government also resigned, days after they voted against Wickremesinghe.
The ministers, who were from the Sirisena-led ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) which is a coalition partner in the unity government with the Wickremesinghe-led United National Party (UNP), sent their resignation to the president last week.
The no trust motion was brought by former President Mahinda Rajapaska-led Joint Opposition, following which the UNP members had been demanding their ouster. The country had plunged into a political crisis after the victory of Rajapaksa’s newly formed party in elections to 10 local councils in February. It won two thirds of the 340 council seats, trouncing the parties headed by Sirisena and Wickremesinghe.