Long-held Tamil prisoners may be released soon: Rajapaksa's son
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa's legislator son Namal today indicated that the long-held demand of the Tamil minority community to release all Tamil prisoners in the country may be fulfilled soon, a move aimed at persuading the Tamil legislators to support Rajapaksa. "President (Maithripala) Sirisena and Prime Minister Rajapaksa would make a decision (on the issue) very soon," Namal tweeted. Here's more.
Some prisoners held without being formally charged, claim Tamils
Since the war with the LTTE ended in 2009, the Sri Lankan Government has denied that those imprisoned LTTE members are political prisoners. Tamils say some of the prisoners have been held over a long time under the anti-terrorism law without even being formally charged. Namal's comments are aimed at persuading the legislators in Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to switch their allegiance to Rajapaksa.
Rajapaksa enticing TNA legislators by offering high ranks
So far Rajapaksa has 100 MPs on his side while sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has 103 MPs in the 225-member Assembly. It is said that most of the 22 remaining MPs, including the TNA, are likely to oppose Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa camp had already enticed a TNA legislator to join ranks by giving him a deputy ministerial position.
Rajapaksa's appointment, a violation of the Constitution's 19th Amendment: TNA
The TNA said it will support a no-trust motion Rajapaksa, amid mounting pressure on President Sirisena to let the suspended parliament hold a vote to end the ongoing political crisis. In a statement, the TNA yesterday said Rajapaksa's appointment was a violation of the Constitution's 19th Amendment. The alliance had "decided to vote in favor of the no-confidence motion against Rajapaksa," the statement said.
Have enough numbers to prove the majority: Rajapaksa
Rajapaksa claims he has enough numbers to prove his majority and at least six of Wickremasinghe's men have defected to his side. Wickremesinghe was sacked by President Sirisena on October 26. His United National Party claims that Wickremesinghe's sacking was "unconstitutional and illegal". The President's move has plunged the country into a constitutional crisis with Wickremesinghe claiming he is still the Prime Minister.