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Sri Lankan Govt Thwarts Opposition's Attempt To Debate Motion Against Gotabaya

A Sri Lankan woman watches a telecast speech of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at her house in Colombo, Sri Lanka (Image: Reuters)

A Sri Lankan woman watches a telecast speech of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at her house in Colombo, Sri Lanka (Image: Reuters)

The government thwarted the opposition's attempt to debate an expression of displeasure over president Rajapaksa

The Sri Lankan government blocked the attempt by the opposition to suspend Parliament’s standing orders to debate an expression of displeasure over president Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Tuesday.

The opposition lost the motion by 51 votes as 119 MP voted against the motion while 68 voted in favor, news agency Daily Mirror reported.

The motion was put forth by Tamil National Alliance MP  MA Sumanthiran and was put to vote. The Sri Lankan parliament said that the no-confidence motion will be taken up for debate on another date.

According to a report by news agency PTI, newly chosen prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe voted against the motion while Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) MP Lakshman Kiriella voted for the motion. SJB MP Harsha de Silva told Sri Lankan news agencies that Wickremesinghe voted against the motion and blocked it in the parliament.

The Sri Lankan parliament met for the first time on Tuesday after Wickremesinghe was chosen as the prime minister of the island-nation which is facing an economic crisis.

Sumanthiran wanted the parliament to suspend standing orders so that debate could begin on the issue. The government rejected the proposal of suspending the standing orders. Sumanthiran then asked the Sri Lankan parliament to vote on the question of suspending the standing orders to which the speaker agreed.

The opposition will now try to move the motion on Friday.

The Sri Lankan parliament elected Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) leader Ajith Rajapakshe as deputy speaker by a majority of 31 votes in a secret ballot.

However, despite bringing in a new cabinet, president Gotabaya Rajapaksa faces pressure from the Sri Lankan citizens to step down from his position. So far only his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa has resigned from the position of prime minister.

Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told the nation’s citizens that harsher times are yet to come as Sri Lanka continues to figure out how to exit the mess it finds itself in.

The protests against the Rajapaksas continue in the Galle Face area of Colombo. Protesters are demanding that the Rajapaksas should step down and provide answers to the people.

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