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6 Sri Lankan ministers quit Sirisena-led unity govt

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

Six ministers of unity government in resigned today, days after they voted in favour of a no-confidence motion against

The ministers from the Sirisena-led ruling Freedom Party (SLFP), which is a coalition partner in the unity government with the Wickremesinghe-led (UNP), sent their resignation to the late last night.

"We have informed the that we are leaving the government as of Wednesday," said.

The other ministers who have resigned include Dayasiri Jayasekara, Minister of Social Empowerment and Welfare S B Dissanayake, Minister John Seneviratne, Minister of Science, Technology and Research Susil Premajayantha and and Vocational Training Chandima Weerakkody.

Yapa and the five ministers had voted against Wickremesinghe in the last week's no trust motion brought by former President Joint Opposition (JO), following which the members had been demanding their ouster from the government.

Ten other state and had also voted against the

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

"We will now act as members, we will not be joining the JO. Our duty will be to promote the from now on," he added.

The other ministers, who had remained absent from the House during the no-confidence motion, will remain in the government, sources said.

Meanwhile, President Sirisena today appointed four acting ministers and made them in charge of departments held by the six SLFP ministers.

A major Cabinet reshuffle is expected after next week, a from Sirisena's office said.

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

The country had plunged into a political crisis after the unity government's parties lost the local to Rajapaksa's People's Front in February.

Sirisena immediately urged the resignation of Wickremesinghe but he resisted.

Sirisena in 2015 quit the then to join hands with Wickremesinghe, the then main opposition leader, to defeat Rajapaksa in the ending his 10-year rule.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 12 2018. 19:30 IST