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Sri Lanka crisis: Fears of a 'bloodbath' in power struggle

October 29, 2018 4:10 pm

Sri Lanka’s unfolding political crisis threatens to turn into a “bloodbath” unless order is restored, the speaker of parliament has warned.

It comes after President Maithripala Sirisena last week sacked the cabinet and suspended parliament.

But ousted PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is refusing to leave his office.

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One person was killed at the weekend when the bodyguard of the sacked oil minister fired at a crowd of protesters outside his office.

On Monday, police arrested the minister, Arjuna Ranatunga, a 54-year-old former national cricket team captain and an ally of Mr Wickremesinghe, after he was accused by trade unions of ordering the shooting. He was later released on bail.
His bodyguard has also been arrested and an investigation is under way.

President Sirisena’s move to suspend parliament and appoint the man he defeated in the 2015 presidential election, Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the new PM has sent shockwaves across Sri Lanka.

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