Sri Lanka Court Restrains Rajapaksa Acting as Prime Minister

Sri Lankan court bars Rajapaksa from acting as Prime Minister

Sri Lankan court bars Rajapaksa from acting as Prime Minister

President Maithripala Sirisena has been under pressure to prove his appointee Rajapakse - a divisive but charismatic strongman who twice ruled Sri Lanka - commands support.

Ranil Wickremesinghe made the comments at the prime minister's official residence, which he has refused to vacate since his dismissal in October.

The President can not say this is what I want.

A Sri Lankan court has stayed disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his ministers from holding their positions as it hears an appeal against them.

The court issued its order on Monday after 122 members of Sri Lanka's parliament, who are allied with ousted prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, filed a legal action on November 23 challenging Rajapaksa's authority as prime minister.

"According to the interim relief, Rajapaksa and his disputed government have been prevented from acting as PM, cabinet and deputy ministers", said a lawyer, who was present at the hearing.

"Ranil Wickramasinghe destroyed the country, Ranil Wickremesinghe destroyed the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe even somewhat destroyed me", President Sirisena ranted.

"The fake prime minister and his purported government have been thrown out of office by the judiciary", Sagala Ratnayake, a member of Wickremesinghe's United National Party, said. The Supreme Court overturned Sirisena's decision to dissolve Parliament and halted the preparations for snap polls. "We are not going to allow him to do that".

But Rajapaksa has failed to show a working majority in parliament and lost two no-confidence votes.

The Sirisena-Rajapaksa combine has boycotted six motions in the legislature since the unrest began.

The Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision as early as Dec 7.

Monday, appellate judge Preethipadhman Surasena issued the stay, laying groundwork for a full hearing by the court on December 12 to decide the matter.

Wickremesinghe - who was unceremoniously dumped by his former ally Sirisena in a late-night power swap - says his sacking was illegal, and parliament supports his stake to lead the country.

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