Tuesday, November 20, 2018 01:02:20 AM

Fresh twist in Sri Lanka crisis as Speaker recognises sacked PM

Photo Gallery1 Photo By AFP - Sun Oct 28, 6:26 am

Sri Lanka’s new ruling party had given sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe until Sunday morning to leave the Temple Trees official residence following his shock dismissal. (AFP pic)

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s speaker of parliament Sunday recognised Ranil Wickremesinghe as the lawful prime minister, three days after his sacking by the president threw the Indian Ocean island into constitutional chaos.

Wickremesinghe has refused to vacate the prime minister’s official residence since being controversially deposed Friday, declaring his dismissal illegal and demanding an emergency session of parliament to prove he still commands a majority.

A thousand-strong crowd of supporters, including chanting Buddhist monks, has massed outside the colonial-era residence in Colombo where a defiant Wickremesinghe has been holding crisis talks with loyalists.

Elsewhere his successor, former strongman Mahinda Rajapakse, sought blessings at a temple ahead of naming a new cabinet as he jostles to consolidate his claim to the prime ministership.

Officials said police will now seek a court order to evict Wickremesinghe from the residence, threatening to escalate the standoff….

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