Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse-backed joint opposition yesterday submitted a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, accusing him of financial mismanagement and failing to tackle anti-Muslim riots early this month in central Kandy district.
The motion was handed over to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, a spokesman for the joint opposition (JO) said.
He said 51 members of the JO and four legislators from President Maithripala Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) had signed the motion.
The motion calls for the removal of Wickremesinghe for appointing a non Sri Lankan as the governor of the Central Bank, allegedly protecting those responsible for the Central Bank Bond issues scam and failing in his duty as the law and order minister to tackle anti-Muslim riots early this month.
Wickremesinghe, 68, was recently replaced as law and order minister after clashes erupted in the central Kandy district.
Anti-Muslim violence in the island’s central hills Kandy and Ampara districts left three people dead.
Despite the JO’s claim that some members of Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) would sign the motion, no member of the prime minister’s party signed the motion.
Since Rajapakse’s new party defeated the ruling coalition in the February 10 local council election, pressure has mounted on Wickremesinghe to resign.
Sirisena is reportedly making overtures to Rajapakse to join hands to sack Wickremesinghe.
Responding to the ongoing feud between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe, senior ministers Rajitha Senaratne and Champika Ranawaka had urged the two leaders to work out a compromise to further the government of national unity.
However, there was no immediate danger to Prime Minister Wickremesinghe as the Rajapakse-faction of the SLFP had failed to muster the mandatory 113 votes for the resolution to succeed.
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