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Rajapaksa defiant as clashes erupt in Sri Lanka Parliament; 1 lawmaker injured

Lankan Parliament members during the no-confidence motion Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team Colombo, Sri Lanka Nov 15, 2018, 11.34 AM (IST)

Lankan Parliament reconvened amid chaotic scenes on Thursday after the no-confidence vote against Rajapaksa who was controversially elected by President Sirisena.

Rajapaksa accused Ranil Wikramsinghe of ruining the country as he sat on the prime minister's chair. The Lankan strongman alleged that Ranil Wickremesinghe had borrowed money from abroad. Rajapaksa said his name was tarnished as a result of the political chaos.

Rajapaksa announced that would continue as prime minister asserting that President Sirisena had invited him to the post. Rajapaksa also attacked Speaker Karun Jayasuriya asking him to step down.

Amid the chaos, the UNP lawmakers sought to move a motion against Rajapaksa's speech.

The Lankan House witnessed scenes of unruly behaviour by legislators as the political crisis played out openly between supporters of Rajapaksa and Wickremesinghe. Some lawmakers threatened the Speaker with bottles being thrown in the air.

Rajapaksa supporters rushed to the Well of the House as the turmoil continued unabated. 

One lawmaker was injured in the clashes which followed and was taken to the hospital. As chaos reigned, Ranil Wickramasinghe and Rajapaksa were seen leaving the house.
 
As the House opened,  Speaker of Sri Lanka's parliament, Karu Jayasuriya, said that in his view the country did not have a prime minister or cabinet after Wednesday's no-confidence vote.

President Sirisena had said earlier that the Parliament "tried to override the Constitutional powers of the president and the judiciary."

The Lankan president said Speaker Karu Jayasuriya ignored and violated the "Constitutional provisions, standing orders and the Parliamentary traditions" by passing the no-confidence motion.

The Supreme Court had on Tuesday overturned President Sirisena's decision to dissolve Parliament and halted the preparations for snap polls on January 5.

After the court verdict, Speaker Jayasuriya had summoned Parliament's session for Thursday morning.