Sri Lanka crisis turns uglier as power supply to PM residence cut; security compromised


Colombo, Oct 30: The fight over grabbing power in Sri Lanka turned uglier on Monday, October 29, with snapping power supply to Temple Trees, the official residence of the prime minister of the country, following orders from President Maithripala Sirisena, Colombo Telegraph reported.

The move indicated a ploy to forcibly take over the Temple Trees, which has been occupied by ousted prime minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe, since last Friday, October 26. Sirisena sacked Wickremasinghe, his ally in the country's unity government, and replaced him with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. In 2015, Sirisena and Wickremasinghe had joined hands to defeat Rajapaksa in the presidential election.

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Wickremasinghe's supporters brought in generators to the Temple Trees to show their solidarity for the United National Party (UNP) leader. A number of parliamentarians of the UNP have also camped inside the Temple Trees protecting the ousted premier, the report added.

Meanwhile, it was also learnt that the authorities were asked to reduce the number of STF personnel provided for Wickremasinghe's security. The move made the UNP leaders feel that Wickremasinghe's life was in jeopardy.

"Under our government, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who did not hold any government position, had 70 STF personal," UNP parliamentarian Harsha De Silva was quoted as saying by Colombo Telegraph.

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Meanwhile, members of the civil society and academics expressed worry over Sirisena appointing Rajapaksa as the prime minister without a parliamentary majority. Sri Lankan students studying abroad also condemned the development.

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