Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered that Parliament should be prorogued with effect from October 27th 2018 to November 15th 2018.
Deputy General Secretary of Parliament Neil Iddawala confirmed to the media that Parliament has been prorogued based on the instructions of the President.
The office of the Speaker has announced that Parliament will reconvene on the 16th of November.
Earlier Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had stated he had the majority of MP’s in Parliament and had wanted Parliament to meet on Sunday October 28th so that a vote could be taken.
Wickremesinghe was confident of demonstrating his majority on the floor of the House if an early vote was taken because of the support of the United National Front MP’s along with those of the TNA.
President Sirisena has now checkmated Ranil by proroguing Parliament. The proroguing will also affect the presentation of the Budget scheduled for early November.
Sirisena’s move will also prevent the UNP from presenting an impeachment motion in Parliament against the President. Only a minimum 0f 75 MP’s is needed to submit an impeachment motion.
President Sirisena has also removed the secretaries to all Ministries along with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s secretary.
The interregnum between Oct 27th to Nov 16th will be utilised by the Sirisena-Rajapaksa duo to entice more MP’s to their folds so that the prime minister appointed by Sirisena,Mahinda Rajapaksa would have the necessary majority in Parliament. As of now the Sirisena-Rajapaksa duo has 95 MP’s and are short of 18 MP’s to garner the required 113 of 225 MP’s in parliament.
It is learnt that high level wooing is going on at multiple levels to cobble together the necessary number of MP’s to support the newly installed Maithripala-Mahinda regime.
It is intended to appoint a new cabinet of 30 ministers and 30 deputy -ministers from a wide range of political parties initially
Already two UNP MP’s have announced their intention to cross over.
Both the EPDP and CWC will extend support to the newly appointed premier Mahinda Rajapaksa.
It is learnt that negotiations are underway with a group of UNP parliamentarians led by Ravi Karunayake at the moment
Basil Rajapaksa is also talking to some Tamil and Muslim MP’s within the Govt as well as opposition
Meanwhile ousted Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe has been meeting diplomats from different countries in Colombo and appraising them of the situation. The UNP is also planning to stage wide-spread protest demonstrations in the country against the undemocratic unilateral action of President Sirisena.An impeachment motion is also being considered.