Foreign Secy to do honours in place of PM, ministers

Court of Appeal interim injunction:

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Foreign Secretary Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha represented Sri Lanka at the Thailand National Day celebrations at the Shangri-La and a reception at the Japanese Ambassador Akira Sugiyama’s residence, Maitland Crescent, on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, in wake of the Court of Appeal on Dec 03 restraining Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and cabinet of ministers from performing their duties pending the final determination of the petition of quo warranto,.

However, on the day the Court of Appeal ruling was given, Mahinda Rajapaksa attended the United Arab Emirates (UAE) 47th National Day celebrations at the Shangri-La on the invitation of Ambassador Ali Al Mualla.

The reception at the Japanese Ambassador’s residence celebrated Japanese Emperor Akihito’s 85th birthday. Among those present at the Emperor’s birthday celebrations were Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and leader of the four-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) R. Sampanthan.

Normally, Ministers, State Ministers and Deputy Ministers represent the government as Chief Guest at diplomatic functions.

In terms of the Dec 03 Court of Appeal ruling, notice issued on the. respondents is returnable on Dec 12.

In the wake of that ruling President Maithripala Sirisena instructed Secretaries to ensure the required functions of ministries.

Mahinda Rajapaksa and several other parties have challenged the Court of Appeal ruling in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court in expected to determine the constitutionality of the CA restraining order Nov 09 dissolution of parliament, early next week.

Well informed sources told The Island that the Court of Appeal suspended PM Rajapaksa and cabinet of ministers close on the heels of the Foreign Ministry assuring concerned countries that President Sirisena’s actions in respect of replacing PM Ranil Wickremesinghe with Mahinda Rajapaksa on Oct 26 and dissolution of parliament on Nov 09 were in line with the Constitution. Sources pointed out that the subsequent developments had placed the government in an embarrassing position.

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