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Sri Lanka political rally brings chaos to Colombo streets

AFP  |  Colombo 

A rally of hundreds of cars carrying supporters of Sri Lanka's deposed brought chaos to streets on Thursday as they demanded that parliament be reopened.

A noisy cavalcade of motorcycles, auto-rickshaws, cars and vans took loyalists of ousted to a rally to hear speeches slamming the for sacking the last month.

named former as the new in a shock move on October 26, and suspended parliament so neither has won a vote of confidence.

The rival prime ministers have now spent nearly two weeks at loggerheads, and the move -- which has been described as illegal by opponents -- has triggered a constitutional crisis.

Protestors had initially planned to drive to the residence of to urge him to defy the president and lift the assembly suspension.

But amid traffic chaos, the route was shortened and the rally was staged at

The motorists displayed posters of Wickremesinghe and carried banners which read "People Power".

The US embassy in issued a security alert warning of traffic hold ups.

"The embassy reminds citizens that even events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence," it said.

One man was killed and two others wounded in a shooting linked to the constitutional crisis last month.

The power struggle has paralysed much of the administration, according to legislators on both sides of the dispute.

Rajapakse is reportedly trying to defections to ensure he has a majority in the 225 member assembly which Sirisena has said can only reopen on November 14.

Sirisena has filled only 22 of 30 cabinet positions -- purposefully keeping some jobs vacant to tempt legislators of to defect to Rajapakse's side.

According to latest counts, Wickremesinghe has 103 MPs after gaining a defector on Tuesday, while Rajapakse and Sirisena have 101.

Most of the remaining 21 MPs are set to oppose Rajapakse, observers say.

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

First Published: Thu, November 08 2018. 18:35 IST