SLFP Ministers quit Sri Lanka government

Maricruz Casares
Abril 13, 2018

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Thursday suspended the parliament until May 8, a day after six ministers resigned from the nation's unity government.

In recent weeks, Sirisena has reduced the responsibilities of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, removing from his control the central bank, the policy-making National Operations Room and several other institutions.

But 16 lawmakers, a lot of them ministers, from Sirisena's Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) voted in favour of the no-confidence motion.

Yapa said they were aware that it was not ethical for them to remain in the Cabinet after voting against the prime minister.

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Mr. Sirisena and the PM agreed on a cabinet reshuffle, but meanwhile the dissident SLFP legislators made a decision to relinquish their ministerial positions in government, leading to a complex scenario where factions of a further divided SLFP is both in government and opposition, both working under Mr. Sirisena.

Sarath Amunugama has been appointed as acting Minister for Skills Development and Technology Ministry, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya for Disaster Management Ministry, Minister Faizer Mustapha for Sports Ministry and Minister Malik Samarawickrema as Acting Minister of Social Empowerment and Welfare, Labor and Labor Relations Ministry.

The SLFP will formally decide next week if it should leave the unity government, the party sources said.

The ministers from the Sirisena-led ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party sent their resignation to the President late on Wednesday night.

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