Sri Lanka crisis turns violent: 1 dead, 2 injured

Supporters of sacked Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickeremesinghe gather outside his official residence as a police commando stands guard in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. Sri Lanka's president suspended Parliament even as the prime minister he fired the previous day claimed he has majority support, adding to a growing political crisis in the South Asian island nation. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

The political crisis in Sri Lanka today took an ugly turn when a security guard of sacked petroleum minister Arjuna Ranatunga opened fire on supporters of newly appointed PM Mahinda Rajapakse, killing one and injuring two others. Ranatunga was petroleum minister under sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, before the cabinet was dissolved under the new government.

When Arjuna Ranatunga tried to enter his office at the state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, his official security guard shot one and injured two others, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said. He added, the guard had been arrested and an investigation launched. Ranatunga was safe but the security guard’s motive was not immediately clear, he added.

In a new development, days after he was sacked as Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe has been recognised as the country’s Prime Minister by Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker. In a letter to Sirisena, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya questioned the decision to suspend the House till November 16 and said it will have “serious and undesirable” consequences on the country.

He asked the president to restore Wickremesinghe’s privileges as the leader of the government who has “obtained a mandate to secure democracy and good governance”.

The speaker said a prorogation of Parliament should be one in consultation with the speaker.”In this context continuing the prorogation of parliament until November 16 will have serious and undesirable consequences for our country and I kindly request you to reconsider same.”

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