Transfer of Sri Lankan CID Inspector amidst political crisis draws flak

PHOTO: Google Images, Photo Mapo
By Nilanjan Dey, Rajashree Das K and Shivani Ramakrishnan
Chennai, November 20, 2018

Sri Lanka’s political quagmire explained

The transfer of Sri Lankan CID inspector Nishantha Silva, which was ordered by President Maithripala Sirisena was withdrawn by Pujith Jayasundara, Inspector General of Police, National Police Commision of Sri Lanka.

Silva, the Officer in Command of the CID, was an integral part of the investigations on several major attacks on journalists during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s administration.

This adds more fuel to the political crisis that has recently plagued Sri Lanka, with Sirisena deepening the crisis by calling for an all-party meeting to hold a third vote on a no-confidence motion against Mahinda Rajapaksa.

What is the crisis in Sri Lanka and when did it start?

The political turmoil in Sri Lanka began almost a fortnight ago, when President Maithripala Sirisena unceremoniously sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his stead.

Rajapaksa, a wartime strongman was controversially sworn in as the Prime Minister on October 26, 2018, the same day Wickremesinghe was sacked.

Following opposition from other political parties in Sri Lanka after Rajapaksa’s appointment, Sirisena dissolved the Parliament on November 9 and called for snap elections to be held on January 5, 2019. However, following a Supreme Court order, the Parliament reconvened on November 14 and witnessed a series of brawls while the House was in session.

INFOGRAPH  : Nilanjan, Rajashree and Shivani

 

Who are the key players?

PHOTO: Nilanjan, Rajashree and Shivani

 

What is the power play?

 

What is the effect of this political tustle in the Sri Lankan Parliament?           

The Sri Lankan Parliament, which was inneffectively dissolved by Sirisena was reconvened on November 14.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya backed Ranil Wickremsinghe saying that what had happened was not “democratic and fair”. He refused to endorse the sacking of Ranil Wickremsinghe and said that Wickremesinghe’s request to retain the security and privileges of Prime Minister was fair until another candidate could prove a majority.

The Parliament saw its MPs resisting the return of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and showed it in a voice-vote twice, when a majority supported no-confidence motion was passed by the Speaker.

This was amidst a backlash and a tussle which plagued the Parliament with MPs hustling the Speaker and splashing water mixed with chilli powder on the police personel manning the Speaker. Nothing less than a fist fight took place with people even spotting one MP holding a knife.

The Parliamentary session was cut short on November 14 and 15 due to brawls.

Was Sirisena’s decision unconstitutional?

Expert’s Opinion

Associate editor of Frontline Radhakrishnan RK speaks about the Sri Lankan crisis in an exclusive interview with Asian College of Journalism students. Mr.Radhakrishnan is an expert in Dravidian Politics and Sri Lankan Politics.

 

External Links
‘Economic Anarchy’ Ahead If Sri Lanka’s Political Crisis Continues: https://www.voanews.com/a/economic-anarchy-ahead-if-sri-lanka-political-crisis-continues/4669145.html
Amid Political Crisis, Sri Lanka Parliament Adjourned In Just 5 Minutes: https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/sri-lanka-parliament-adjourned-after-just-five-minutes-1949858