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Lanka Parliament bars Rajapaksa from using state funds

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

Thursday overwhelmingly passed a motion to suspend the expenditure of the Prime Minister's Office, dealing a major blow to strongman who was appointed by in a controversial move that plunged the country into a constitutional crisis.

The motion was passed with 123 lawmakers voting in favour of the motion and none opposing it in the 225-member House as Rajapaksa's supporters boycotted the session.

"Such a motion cannot be presented by the Opposition. It must be presented only by a government minister," SB Dissanayake, a member of Sirisena's (UPFA) party, said.

Observers opine that the passing of the motion, stripping prime minister's from spending money from the state account, was yet another indication that Rajapaksa lacked simple majority of 113 in the House to continue as the

The motion, which was approved, read, "Parliament resolves that from November 15, to the has no authority to approve any expenditure drawn from the funds of the Republic and any person taking any action in violation of this resolution will be dealt with according to the law."

Lanka is witnessing a political crisis since October 26 when sacked and replaced him with Rajapaksa.

later dissolved Parliament, almost 20 months before its term was to end, and ordered snap election. The overturned Sirisena's decision to dissolve Parliament and halted the preparations for snap polls.

Both Wickremesinghe and Rajapaksa claim to be the prime ministers.

Wickremesinghe says his dismissal is invalid because he still holds a majority in the 225-member Parliament.

has officially conveyed that the House does not recognise Rajapaksa as the legal until he proved his majority in the House.

The United led by Wickeremesinghe has moved three motions of no trust against Rajapaksa. However, he refused to step down.

The parliamentarians comprising members of the UNF, JVP and TNA filed a petition in the against the former president, challenging him to prove on what authority he is holding office as the prime minister after the Parliament voted twice to defeat him on November 14 and November 16.

The November 16 session witnessed unprecedented violence as lawmakers threw furniture and chilli powder at each other.

Jayasuriya had called the police into the House as lawmakers were seen breaking furniture to attack the police, while there were video images of some MPs carrying sharp objects and an was seen throwing chilli powder mixed with water at the policemen. The violence had left some lawmakers injured.

The Thursday announced he has appointed a committee to probe the violence in the Parliament.

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

First Published: Thu, November 29 2018. 15:45 IST