Sri Lankan parl defeats opposition’s no-confidence motion against President Gotabaya

New Delhi: A no-confidence motion moved by the opposition against Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was defeated in parliament on Tuesday, amid nationwide protests demanding his resignation due to the country’s worst economic crisis.

Economy Next newspaper reported that a proposal by opposition Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M A Sumanthiran to suspend Parliament’s standing orders to debate the expression of displeasure at President Rajapaksa was voted against by 119 lawmakers.

Only 68 lawmakers voted in favor of the resolution, giving the 72-year-old president a comfortable victory.

With the motion, the opposition tried to show how the nationwide demand for President Rajapaksa’s resignation is reflected in the country’s legislature, the report said.

The main opposition party Samagi Jana Balvegaya (SJB) MP Laxman Kirila supported the motion.

Sri Lanka’s newly elected Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was among those who voted against the resolution, according to SJB MP Harsha de Silva.

Human rights lawyer Bhavani Fonseca tweeted after the vote that the resolution’s defeat exposed lawmakers defending President Rajapaksa.

Parliament met on Tuesday for the first time since the appointment of new Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, as the country seeks to launch major constitutional reforms amid the worst economic crisis.

Meanwhile, two Sri Lankan ruling party lawmakers were arrested on Tuesday for their involvement in violent attacks on peaceful anti-government protesters near Temple Trees and last week at Galle Face Green, in which more than 200 people were injured. .

Police spokesperson Nihal Thaladuwa said Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MPs Sanath Nishant and Milan Jayatilke have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the attacks.

Both the MLAs were seen among the attackers.